Skip to main content

Full text of "Reference Series Volume 9 Issue 5"

See other formats


GUIDE TO USING 



Reference Series 




OOQie 

DISCOVER GOOGLE'S ^^ r 



BURIED TREASURES 



TM 




Gmail 

Keep In Touch 
With Friends & Family 

Organize 

Install & Use 
The Google Toolbar 

Wireless 

Use Google On 
Your Cell Phone 



gm you* At/Tf-mut t 

/H/TI&YMPt PHOGItm 
TIM I TO MACT. 




mr 



> 



\ 



9TMY <HH ffiPdMJJ 







Anti-virus and anti-spyware providers do 
an excellent job of protecting you 
against known threats. With new or 
unknown threats, however, they need 
time to create the antidote. They can't 
protect you until they've developed a 
new signature file that recognizes the 
threat and you've downloaded and 
installed the necessary update. 

RedWall stops new threats WITHOUT 
needing new signature files, so you're 
protected even against brand new 
threats. RedWall Secure File Viewer is 
always one step ahead, giving your 
anti-virus and anti-spyware time to react 




• PtOACTM ZMO MY PHOTKT/ON 

Know your company data is protected 
even when the latest virus definition files 
have not yet been released. 

• MAOt 0OX PMMM Safely preview 
files in a "quarantined" no-risk environment 
to ensure they contain legitimate data and 
not viruses or other malicious code. 

BOOfT PffODVCTffffTY Instantly preview any file without taking 
the extra time necessary to launch the application which created 
it. RedWall's previewing is often 300% faster than opening the 
same file with its associated program. Even preview multiple 
email attachments in one step - no more wasting time launching 
multiple applications. 



^Novatix 



Download your free trial at http://www.novatix.com/OneStepAhead 

Novatix Corporation Tel: 303-51 6-1 800 ext. 1 04 Email: info@novatix.com www.novatix.com 

© 2005 Novatix Corporation. All rights reserved. RedWall is a registered trademark of Novatix Corporation. 



Guide To Using Google 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



REFERENCE SERIES VOL. 9 ISS. 5 




\R About Google 



4 Organizing The World's Information 

How Google Became The "Word" On Everyone's Lips 

9 Find The Digital Needle 

Google Helps You Take On That Haystack 

13 The Way Of Google 

It's More Complicated Than You May Realize 

1 7 Test Drive These Tools 

The Newest Ideas Are At Google Labs 



31 One In A Billion 

Advanced Search Options Help You 
Find What You're Looking For 

35 Image Search Elements 

Google's Not Just For Text Anymore 

38 Read All About It 

Google Offers Personalized News 

42 It's Not Cheap, It's Froogle 

Your One-Stop Online Shop 
For Finding The Best Deals 

46 In The Neighborhood 

Google Local Helps You Find Everything 
From Pizza Places To Pet Stores 



22 Privacy Please 

Google's Privacy Policy Serves & Protects 



49 Google Answers 

Call On A Professional For Your Toughest Questions 



23 How'd They Do That? 

Google's Simple Interface Masks 
A Powerful Search Engine 



The Search 



26 Gateway To The Web 

How Google Can Help You Find What You Need 



52 The Ultimate Card Catalog 

Google Print Is A Digital Bookshelf 

55 Are We There Yet? 

Google Maps Revolutionizes Online Mapping 

59 Smart Searches 

Google Scholar Pinpoints Scholarly Research 



30 Helpful Hints 

Google Suggest Streamlines Your Search Time 



61 Boutique Searches 

Specialty Search Engines Help You Narrow Your Search 




Stay Connected 




64 It's Not Email, It's Gmail 

How To Master Google's Web-based Email 

70 Faster Than A Speeding Email 

Keep In Touch With Google Talk 



73 Get The Message? 

Google Groups Makes It Easy To Share Interests Online 



78 Google Mobile 

Google Comes To The Small Screen 

81 Message Marvel 

Google Meets Text Messaging 



84 Hello, It's Me 

Google's Communications Tool Lets You Share Pics, Too 




Google Tools 



88 Tool(bar)Time 

Make Your Browser A Powerhouse 

93 Search Engine Jr. 

Google Brings Its Expertise To Your Desktop 



108 It's Not Picasso, But It's Close 

Meet Picasa, Google's Photo Organizer/Editor 

114 Speaking In Tongues 

Reach Globally With Google's Language Tools 

116 Power To The People 

Google Code: A Little Something For Open-Source Fans 



The Business End 



120 Let's Do Business 

Google As Cash Cow 

123 Get The Word Out 

Advertise Your Web Site On Google 

128 Give Your Web Site Google Power 

Adding Site Search & More To Your Web Site 

132 The Ins & Outs Of AdSense 

Depending On Your Web Site, Google's 
Ad Program Could Earn You Money 

136 Google Desktop Search For Enterprise 

Simplify Your Search For Documents, 
Emails & Web Sites 



97 Meet Blogger 

Join The Web Log Craze With This Google Tool 



139 Delve Deep With Urchin 

Analyze Your Web Traffic For Fun & Profit 



1 04 A View From Above 

Explore Google Earth's Satellite & Aerial Maps 



142 Beyond Classified Ads 

Google Ad Professionals 



"*■** 



tf # 



ndteto £/ 



wmercik 




145 Google Hacking 

How Hackers Use Google To Invade Web Sites 



Just For Fun 



1 48 Agog About Googlewhacking 

A New Google Lexicon 

1 51 Beware The Jabberwock, My Son 

Google Talk Is The New "Mad Libs" 

153 Search Engine Silliness 

Googlefight & Guess-The-Google Kill Hours Dead 

1 55 Logos Make The Man 

When You're Desperate To Demonstrate 
How Hip You Are 

158 What's Next? 

Google Takes On The Future 







Editorial Staff: Ronald D. Kobler/ 
Christopher Trumble / Michael Sweet / 
Samit Gupta Choudhuri / Corey Russman / 
Rod Scher / Calvin Clinchard / Katie Sommer 
/ Kimberly Fitzke / Katie Dolan / Blaine Flamig 
/ Raejean Brooks / Rebecca Christensen / 
Sally Curran / Nate Hoppe / Jennifer Suggitt / 
Trista Kunce / Sheila Allen / Linne Ourada / 
Liz Dixon / Joy Martin / Brian Weed / Marty 
Sems / Chad Denton / Nathan Chandler / 
Kylee Dickey /Josh Gulick / Andrew Leibman 
/ Vince Cogley / Sam Evans / Jennifer Johnson 
Web Staff: Missy Fletcher / Laura Curry / 
Brandie Humphrey /Travis Brock 
Customer Service: Becky Rezabek/ 
Lana Matic / Lindsay Albers 
Subscription Renewals: Liz Kohout/ 
Connie Beatty / Matt Boiling / Patrick Kean / 
Charmaine Vondra / Miden Ebert / Kathy 
DeCoito / Stephanie Contreras / 
Nicole Buckendahl 

Art & Design: Lesa Call / Fred Schneider/ 
Carrie Benes / Ginger Falldorf / Sonja Warner / 
Aaron Weston / Aaron Clark / Kelli Lambertsen 
/ Lori Garris / Jason Codr / Andria Schultz / 
Erin Rodriguez / Lindsay Anker 
Newsstand: Garth Lienemann / Kelly 
Richardson / Jeff Schnittker 
Advertising Sales: Grant Ossenkop/ 
Cindy Pieper / Brooke Wolzen / Eric Cobb 
Marketing: Mark Peery / Marcy Gunn / 
Jen Clausen / Scot Banks / Ashley Hannant / 
Luke Vavricek 



Copyright 2005 by Sandhills Publishing Company. All rights 
reserved. Reproduction of material appearing in Smart Computing 
REFERENCE SERIES: Guide To Using Google is strictly prohibited 
without written permission. Printed in the U.S.A. GST # 
123482788RT0001. Smart Computing is published monthly by 
Sandhills Publishing Company. 131 West Grand Drive, P.O. Box 
85380, Lincoln, NE 68501. POSTMASTER: Send address changes 
to Smart Computing, P.O. Box 85380, Lincoln, NE 68501. 



Web Services 

(For questions about our Web site.) 

webhelp@smartcomputing.com 
(800) 368-8304 

Customer Service 

(For questions about your subscription.) 

customer.service@smartcomputing.com 
Smart Computing 
P.O. Box 85380 
Lincoln, NE 68501-5308 

Hours 

Mon.-Fri.: 7a.m. to 8p.m. (CST) 
Sat.: 8a.m. to 4p.m. (CST) 

To Place An Order Or Change An Address 

(800) 733-3809 
FAX: (402) 479-2193 

Subscription Renewals 

(800) 424-7900 

FAX: (402) 479-2193 

www.smartcomputing.com 

Authorization For Reprints 

Reprint Management Services 
Toll Free: (800) 290-5460 
(71 7) 399-1 900 ext. 100 
Fax:(717)399-8900 



Editorial Staff 

editor@smartcomputing.com 
FAX: (402) 479-2104 
131 W. Grand Drive 
Lincoln, NE 68521 

Advertising Staff 

(800)848-1478 
1 20 W. Harvest Dr. 
Lincoln, NE 68521 
FAX: (402) 479-2193 



Sandhills 
Publishing- 



All About Google 



Organizing The 

World's 

Information 

How Google Became The "Word" 
On Everyone's Lips 



^^Sn^-n^x^, 




"J 



ust Google it." 

People everywhere are still coming 
to understand just how powerful those 
three words are. And with every new 
feature Google adds to its search en- 
gine, the more powerful they become. 

Googling is, quite simply, typing 
search terms into Google's field and 
pressing ENTER. Like to compare one 
new car's mileage to another's? Want 
tips on catching panfish? Need to check 
out that new fellow your daughter is 
dating? Just Google it. 

Number One 

Google's mission statement is a 
rarity among Internet companies. It's 



far too brief and lucid: "To organize 
the world's information and make it 
universally accessible and useful." But 
then, Google is a rare bird itself. 

On the surface, Google is just like 
any other free search engine on the 
Web — but again, only on the surface. 



Google 



■ 



Goo e Search 'ml =eling Luck.. 1 



- 

52005 C-ocgle ■ Searching 8,168.684.336 «eb pages 



Like AltaVista before it, Google's clean 
home page was a welcome relief from the 
jam-packed pages of competing search 
engines and portals. Even Yahoo! Search 
and MSN Search look similar today. 



Underneath, ingenious innovation and 
efficient processing have made Google 
the number one choice for anyone who 
wants relevant information right now. 
At this writing, Google indexes 8.1 
billion Web pages and can answer a 
search query in 0.25 seconds. 

Google's secret formula is not so 
much the search, but more how it 
searches. Its PageRank algorithm lists 
Web pages in order of probable rele- 
vance to the user. This is partly based on 
the number of other pages that contain 
hyperlinks, or URLs, to them. When 
Netizens find a site or online article they 
consider worth sharing with others, they 
put a link to that page on their own sites 
or blogs. If more people link to a page 
than any other with the same keyword 
or phrase on it, it may wind up near the 
top of Google's rankings. 

However, merely having a lot of links 
to a page doesn't make a top ranking a 
done deal. The proprietary and secret 
PageRank evaluates a number of other 
criteria, such as the subjective impor- 
tance and trustworthiness of the sites 
linking to a page, as well as the usual 
intent of a typical user looking for a 
term. Furthermore, Google often 
tweaks PageRank to mitigate unscrupu- 
lous Webmasters' attempts to "play the 
system." Obviously, it means big 
money to companies to have their sites 
come up at the top of search result lists, 
which explains why there are so many 
books on the market about how to fool 
Google into giving higher rankings. 

Besides PageRank, the other half of 
Google's recipe for success is the way 
the company does business. The fact 
that the site is still relatively uncompro- 
mised by the usual shenanigans of big 
companies looking to wring a few 
more bucks out of the bottom line has 
paid huge dividends in end-user loy- 
alty. Paid advertisements keep Google's 
search free for everyone to use, but 
until recently, they were clearly rele- 
gated to the right of the screen, not 
mixed in with the "real" search results. 

This minor difference from com- 
peting sites was enough to convince 
millions of users that they could trust 



4 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



Google not to waste their time with re- 
sults that are obviously paid place- 
ments. Of course, if users are actually 
Googling for something they want to 
buy, they may appreciate the fact that 
the ads on the right are triggered by the 
keywords they typed into the search 
field (not to mention Froogle, Google's 
price comparison feature). 

How different is Google? Well, in 
October 2004, accounting firm Deloitte 
Touche (now Deloitte Touche Tohmat- 
su) called Google the fastest- growing 
company ever. Between 1999 and 2003, 
the firm reported, Google's revenues 
grew by a mind-bending 437,1 15%. 

Primordial Google 

Co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry 
Page collaborated on Google when 
they were graduate students together 
at Stanford University. (NOTE: Most of 
the events and dates regarding Google's 
origin and growth in this article come 
from John Batelle's outstanding "The 
Search: How Google And Its Rivals 
Rewrote The Rules Of Business And 



Web Pages In Google's Database 


10 
9 


(in billions, less images and Usenet messages) 






8 

7 






/8.1 


6 








5 








4 








3 
2 


^^ 2.5 

1 -^S^ 


4.2 




1 


m^^ — -—-^1.3 




Source: Google 





1999 June Dec. Aug. Dec. 
2000 2000 2002 2002 


March 
2004 


Aug. 
2005 



Transformed Our Culture," as well as 
Google itself except as noted.) 

The pair created a search algorithm 
called BackRub, so named for its ability 
to assay back links, or the hyperlinks 
pointing to a particular Web page from 



The Sergey & Larry Show 



Supersmart. Righteous. Micromanaging. Smug. Google founders Sergey Brin and 
Larry Page seem to inspire a different description from every person holding an 
opinion on the pair. For perspective, here are some of their basic facts. Both can be for- 
given for not completing their doctorates in computer science at Stanford University, 
we think; they've been a little busy since 1998. (Sources: Google, EconomicExpert.com) 

Sergey Brin, Co-founder and President, Technology 
Born: August 1973 in Moscow, Russia 
Education: BS with honors in mathematics and com- 
puter science, University of Maryland at College Park; 
master's in computer science, Stanford University; 
honorary MBA from Instituto de Empresa 
Trivia: Sergey's mother was a scientist at NASA. He's 
reportedly the arbiter at Google as to what the 
"Don't Be Evil" motto means in day-to-day business decisions. 

Larry Page, Co-founder and President, Products 

Born: March 26, 1973, in Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Education: BS in engineering (concentration in computer engineering), University of 

Michigan; master's degree, Stanford University 

Trivia: Page is one of the trustees on the board of the X Prize Foundation for private 

spacecraft advocacy. 




Larry Page, left, and Sergey Brin 
co-founded Google. 



others. Page drew the idea from the 
academic world, which places great 
value on the number of researchers 
cited in a paper's footnotes and the 
prestige of each. The idea wasn't totally 
novel: Brian Pinkerton programmed 
the earlier Webcrawler search engine to 
count links to Web pages, too. 

Of course, an algorithm that could 
count and weigh back links had to be 
able to take on the scale of a worldwide 
Internet, in Page's vision. Forming it 
posed a formidable challenge. Sergey 
Brin handled the math, and collabo- 
rated with Page on the system of 
ranking each page's relative merit. This 
system, which gave Google's search re- 
sults unprecedented relevancy and 
touched off a word-of-mouth fire- 
storm, became known as PageRank. 
Stanford actually holds the patent on 
PageRank, but the U. S. government 
also holds certain rights to it thanks to 
a National Science Foundation grant 
(patent number 6,285,999 at patft 
.uspto.gov/netahtml/srchnum.htm). 

Page made a crawler program, later 
called Googlebot, to search many Web 
servers at once. PageRank ranked the 
pages thus indexed, and Brin and Page 
completed the tool with a simple inter- 
face for users to visit with their queries. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 5 



With servers made of parts bought, 
begged, and borrowed, Brin and Page 
were soon running a popular search 
engine from Page's dorm room. Math 
geeks, they called the search engine 
Google, after the number represented 
by a 1 followed by 100 zeroes (a 
googol). It's a truly colossal number, 
and it implies that the tally of Web 
pages around the world is unimagin- 
ably huge, too. 

At first, Brin and Page wanted to li- 
cense their technology to existing sites, 
not build a company. Unfortunately, 
interest was low at the companies they 
pitched to, and the partners needed 
more and more server space to stay 
ahead of the volume of Web pages 
Google was indexing. After angel in- 
vestors and venture capitalists started 
handing them checks — the first one un- 
cashable until there was a "Google, 
Inc." to receive it — Brin and Page had 
to form a company, and fast. 

Google officially incorporated on 
Sept. 7, 1998. Its first office was in a 
friend's spare room in Menlo Park, 
Calif. To try and preserve their preg- 
nant friend's privacy, Brin, Page, and 
their few employees entered and exited 
through the garage. 

Besides the results, users liked 
Google's speed and simple look. The 



cached content links also proved 
useful. The company preserves recent 
Web content even when the original 
server is down or the content has been 
pulled or changed. In fact, Google set 
up a link during the Sept. 11, 2001, 
disasters to provide cached online news 
at a time when most Internet news sites 
were overwhelmed by traffic (the 
Google News aggregation feature 
sprouted from this event). 

Obviously, caching demands data 
centers with huge storage capacity, reli- 
able servers, and lots of bandwidth. 
Although it started out with Linux, 
Google eventually wound up cus- 
tomizing an OS to suit its specific 
needs. The company also opted for a 
distributed computing model using 
thousands of networked computers 
made of off-the-shelf parts rather than a 
few expensive "big iron" servers. This 
type of parallel computing makes it 
cheaper to add servers later, and easier 
to swap out failed parts without af- 
fecting the speed of the overall network. 

Google's legend grew, but the fledg- 
ling company still needed a way to 
make money. Although Brin and Page 
remained distrustful of ads, they rea- 
soned that ad revenue would keep 
Google free for anyone to use. Using 
AdWords, launched in October 2000, 



companies paid for their ads to be re- 
lated to particular search terms. Today, 
ad sales (on and offsite) and search en- 
gine licensing fuel Google's revenues. 

Some Work, Some Play 

"Don't Be Evil" is Google's unofficial 
motto. The phrase was distilled by engi- 
neer Paul Buchheit during a committee 
meeting meant to define Google's core 
values, Batelle says. It seemed to 
Buchheit that "don't be evil" was the 
common factor of several slogans being 
bandied about, and in typical engineer 
fashion, cut to the chase with the most 
efficient solution. For more on Google's 
philosophy and culture, check out "The 
Way Of Google" on page 13. 

Already an anomaly in the often staid 
corporate world, Google loves to flaunt 
its sense of whimsy. On holidays and 
even some obscure anniversaries such 
as Van Gogh's birthday, the logo on the 
home page gets a fun makeover (www 
.google.com/holidaylogos.html) . Each 
April Fools' Day spawns new jokes, 
such as the revelation that pigeons are 
the secret behind PageRank (www.goo 
gle.com/technology/pigeonrank.html). 
And the languages in Google's reper- 
toire include Elmer Fudd and Pig Latin 
(www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en). 



Database Of Intentions 


\y ou may love Google's 
1 ability to give you quick 


crawlers find on the Inter- 
net. Still, search companies 


"What does the world 
want?" Batelle asks. "Build a 


technology isn't so "evil" 
after all. But it could also end 


access to movie reviews, 


raise a lot of questions, es- 


company that answers this 


up a tool of the courts or 


camera price comparisons, 
and satellite maps of your 
next vacation spot. On the 


pecially when they get to be 
as large and as good at 
searching as Google. For ex- 


question in all its shades of 
meaning, and you've un- 
locked the most intractable 


government agencies to 
keep an eye on citizens, ra- 
tionalized by the need 


other hand, you may not be 
so crazy about the fact that 


ample, what happens to the 
records of the keywords a 


riddle of marketing, of busi- 
ness, and arguably of 


to sniff out potential crimi- 
nals and terrorists under 


it's so easy for Google (and 
other search engines) to 
give someone your home 
address, phone number, and 
other potentially sensitive 


particular user searches for? 
Over the years, according to 
John Batelle, author of "The 
Search: How Google And Its 
Rivals Rewrote The Rules Of 


human culture itself. And 
over the past few years, 
Google seems to have built 
just that company." 

Such a database could be- 


legislation such as the 
PATRIOT Act. 

"For now, Google co- 
founder Sergey Brin has as- 
sured me, such demands are 


information. 


Business And Transformed 


come the Holy Grail for mar- 


neither made nor met," 


It's not Google's fault, of 
course. Search engines 


Our Culture," such a log of 
terms become a "database 


keters, especially if Google 
ever decides that more overt 


Batelle says. "But in the face 
of such power, how long 


merely report what their 


of intentions." 


commercialization of its 


can that stand?" 1 



6 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



Google Searches Per Day 




Aug. Feb. Sept. June 

to to 1999 2000 

Dec. June 

1998 1999 



More paternalistic companies take a 
dim view of what might be construed as 
time-wasting nonsense, but Google has 
found that a sense of play pays off in 
employee happiness and fresh ideas. 
Speaking of ideas, Google employees 
are advised to spend part of their time 
working on side projects, some of 
which appear as beta features in Google 
Labs (labs.google.com) and go on to 
become permanent features, such as 
Google News and Gmail. 



Wolves At The Door 

Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL are Google's 
chief foes in search, as we've shown in 



Sept. 
2000 



Dec. 
2000 



Feb. 
2001 



May *May 
2003 2005 



Source: Google 
* Source: Nielsen/Net Ratings, Searchenginewatch.com 



the "Web Search Engine Market 
Shares" chart in this article. A newer 
contender is Become.com, an online 
shopping search site. Its senior director 
of product search and comparison 
shopping, Jon Glick, has competed 
with Google for years — arguably, even 
before there was a Google to compete 
against. He's a former product man- 
agement head from Yahoo! and was a 
director of Internet search at both on- 
line ad sales service Overture (formerly 
GoTo) and AltaVista, the "clean inter- 
face" search darling of the mid-1990s. 

"Starting in 1999, Google enjoyed 
five years of unquestioned technological 
leadership," Glick says. "Their challenge 



going forward is that rivals such as 
Yahoo! have caught up, and next gener- 
ation systems like Become. corn's AIR 
(Affinity Index Ranking) technology 
have shown the ability to outperform 
Google on many searches." 

Glick says that Become. corn's AIR 
search extrapolates more meaning from 
the context of linking sites than does 
Google's PageRank, especially for users 
looking to buy. (Of course, shoppers 
might use Froogle, not Google proper.) 

"For a search on 'television' Google 
returns TV stations, while the product- 
focused search on Become.com returns 
information on TVs because we know 
that's what our users are looking for," 
Glick says. 

Leaving aside the competition, not 
everyone loves Google. Batelle's re- 
search uncovered tales of an online 
shopkeeper who lost his high ranking 
during one of Google's algorithm ad- 
justments and suspected that commer- 
cial results were ranked lower to drive 
business to AdWords; job applicants, 
advertisers, and ordinary Web users 
resentful of Google's unresponsiveness 
to communications (indeed, Google 
declined repeated invitations to com- 
ment for this article); and the perspec- 
tives of technological forerunners, 
erstwhile partners, and former em- 
ployees. And in 2004, the apparently 
self-righteous Google bowed to the 
Web-censoring Chinese government 
and removed links to banned sites in 
its local edition of Google News. Even 
with relatively "pure" motives and the 
motto "Don't Be Evil," Google has 



Google Timeline 



'96 



August 1996: 

The first version of 
Larry Page's and 
Sergey Brin's Google 
appears on Stanford 
University's site 

'98 

Sept. 7, 1998: 

Google incorporates 
in Menlo Park, Calif. 



Early 1999: 

Red Hat be- 
comes Google's 
first commercial 



'99 



April 27, 2000: Wireless search for 
WAP (Wireless Application Protocols) 
phones and handhelds 

May 9, 2000: Google goes multilin- 
gual with support for French, German, 
Spanish, and seven other tongues 

June 26, 2000: Google becomes the 
world's largest search index with more 
than 1 billion pages; Yahoo! enlists 
Google as its search engine 

Oct. 23, 2000: AdWords sells 
advertising keyed to search terms, 
soon becoming Google's primary 
source of income # ^ ^ 

00 




March 26, 2001: Dr. Eric Schmidt becomes chairman of 
Google's board of directors; later becomes CEO on August 6. 
Unlike a traditional CEO, to date he runs the company with 
founders Brin and Page, much to Wall Street's consternation 

July to August 2001: Google Image Search launches; 
Google Zeitgeist lists top search terms 

September 2001: A link to cached news articles about the 
9/11 tragedies eventually becomes Google News 

October 2001: Google reaches profitability 

Dec. 11, 2001: Google adds searchable index of non-HTML 
(Hypertext Markup Language) files, such as PDF (Portable 
Document Format) and MS Office documents 

'01 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 7 



All About Google 









Google ****** 

Images^ ■■'i^.-.jk-t as. 



Rn.nllr. 1 It .-< .r.....l Til fat In j ; I ill St -*:«r,r.-i 









'$£, 




716.154 putt*. 5» 
PjLk* , djLL J >liii U n l .>,j.g 



J Jit .■||j||'j£IJllLt-Jj(ll) 



fuzzy ducksjpy 



^L 



206ftizzy(Ju(L;kH<.jpH 



2DtUMaxj<«2Q«Efc(.Mi!i 



jt(igfl2yill<>lWf110if vi iyPg. . 



:■ loliday :. a 
(prti.ee utrtniji 



Google Image Search can often find photos by context, not 
just by their file names. Intelligent video and audio search is 
the obvious next step. 



found that success in business in- 
evitably breeds controversy. 

Google Today 

At this writing, Google is run by 
nearly 4,200 employees and upward of 
175,000 computers. The company's 
stock is trading at $282, more than 
triple the $85 share price at its highly 
unorthodox initial public offering in 
August 2004. Google ended a drought 
in Internet IPOs dating back to the 
market crash of 2000, and did it in a 
big way: The stock nearly quadrupled 
by the following July. 

Every day, it seems, there's a new 
headline about Google. Occasionally, a 
foreign government, such as China, 
blocks or filters its citizens' access to 
some portion of Google. Users invent 



games such as Goo- 
glewhacking (see "Agog 
About Googlewhack- 
ing" on page 148). Or- 
ganizations such as the 
Church of Scientology 
have complained about 
sites with opposing 
viewpoints appearing 
in search results for re- 
lated keywords. Some 
businesses, such as The 
New York Times, have 
objected to deep link- 
ing, or indexing of 
pages normally acces- 
sible only to registered 

or paying members 

(Google has removed 
pages when asked by their owners). 

One new service is an instant mes- 
saging/voice chat app called Google 
Talk (see page 70 for more), not to be 
confused with the random sentence 
generator of the same name (page 151). 
Something Google hasnt talked about 
thus far is its reported buying spree of 
unused fiber optic network lines 
around the country, according to a re- 
cent Business 2.0 article. Such a move 
would facilitate future offerings re- 
quiring even more bandwidth than the 
company already has, such as motion 
picture search and delivery. Business 
2.0' s Om Malik also believes that 
Google is preparing to offer Wi-Fi ser- 
vice in various metropolitan areas in 
the near future. 

Malik is hardly the only one specu- 
lating about Google's next move. The 



Web Search Engine 
Market Shares, 
May 2005 




company's ambitions are huge, Batelle 
says: If there is some form of content 
or information that hasn't already 
been tapped, digitized, and indexed, 
it's safe to say that Google has an eye 
on adding it someday. In other words, 
to paraphrase him, Google wants to fill 
in the gaps — and become the virtual 
operating system to the worldwide 
computer called the Internet. 

And if that reminds you of a little 
company named Microsoft, you're not 
thinking big enough, [rs] 

by Marty Sems 




March to April 2002: 

Google News beta 

December 2002: Froogle 
price comparison search 
engine released in beta #^^ 



'03 



January to February 2003: Acquisition of 
Pyra Labs, creator of Blogger 

June 2003: AdSense service scans customer 
sites' text and context, places related ads 

Aug. 13, 2003: Version 2.0 of Google 
Toolbar gets a pop-up blocker, making it de 
rigeur for Internet Explorer users 



March 17, 2004: Google Local shopping search engine 

April 1, 2004: Gmail free Web-based email service in beta, offering 

1GB of storage, a unique filing system, and an invitation-only rollout 

mechanism 

April 29, 2004: Google files for an initial public offering with the 

Securities and Exchange Commission; an unusual, idealistic letter to 

potential shareholders written by Larry Page warns Wall Street that 

Google won't behave like a typical publicly traded company 

Aug. 19, 2004: Google becomes the first Internet company to go 

public in three years; $85 shares climb to $100 by day's end, and 

$108.31 the next 

Oct. 14, 2004: Google Desktop Search for local hard drives in beta 
Dec. 14, 2004: Google Print to offer full-text search of books from 

several prominent libraries _ 

'04 



Jan. 25, 2005: Google Video 
beta allows searches of several 
networks' video clips using 
closed caption data 

# 05 March to April 2005: 

Google Maps allows combina- 
tions of satellite imagery map- 
ping with search, opening up 
possibilities beyond the usual 
driving directions 

Aug. 24, 2005: Beta launch 
of Google Talk, a new instant 
messaging and voice commu- 
nication utility 



8 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



Find The Digital 
Needle 

Google Helps You Take On That Haystack 




Although Google's main page 
remains uncluttered seven 
years after bursting onto the 
search engine scene, the 
company that revolutionized the way 
people navigate the 'Net offers a lot 
more than a word search. 

Some features share space with the 
Web search engine: News, Froogle, 
Groups, Images, and Local. But users 
won't get a true sense of Google's 
grip on the Internet until they click 
the More link and peruse the search 
engine's astonishing list of services 
and tools. 

Want to put your thoughts on dis- 
play? Google has Blogger. Have to edit 
some photos? Google has a free tool. 
Need satellite images of Earth? Com- 
plimentary. Want to translate a Web 
page? No need to leave the ever-in- 
creasing confines of Google for that 
feature either. Does this sound familiar 
yet? Consider the photo -editing, music 
playing, and Web-surfmg tools that re- 
side on your OS, thanks to Microsoft. 
Of, course, Google also offers its claim 
to fame, the Google search engine, free 
to general users. 



Feeling Lucky? 

You'll find most of Google's 
search engines on the main page. By 
default, the page displays a general 
Web search, but more specialized 
engines are only a click away. If 
you're interested in a particular 
news story, for example, you can 
type your search term into the page's 
only field and then click News. 
Google's new search engine will 
scour the Web for relevant articles 
and then display them in a format 
similar to the one it uses to display 
other search results. 

Most of the time, you'll probably 
click the Google Search button (or 
press the ENTER key) to start your 
Web search, but if you want to go 
straight to the most relevant site 
Google finds (the site that would 
otherwise stand at the top of the 
search results page), simply click the 
I'm Feeling Lucky button. 

On the other hand, users who 
want to see a full list of search results 
and want to make sure they're using 
the best search terms can find some 



great options in the Advanced Search 
area, which is one of the few sections 
of the Web site that boasts a link 
from the main page. This section of- 
fers special fields that help users 
better describe what they're looking 
for. Keep in mind that each engine 
has a unique Advanced Search sec- 
tion. (Find more information about 
this in "Gateway To The Web" on 
page 26 and "One In A Billion" on 
page 31.) 

I Need More, More, More. . 

If you're looking for Google's other 
services and tools, click the More link 
on the main page. As with the main 
page, the More, More, More section is 
relatively clutter-free, so you won't 
have much trouble tracking down the 
item you're after. Although many fea- 
tures reside on this page, one particu- 
larly popular service isn't present. 
Google's Gmail, a beta email service 
that offers users more than 2GB of 
email storage, doesn't have a link on 
either main page or the More, More, 
More section. You can access Gmail's 
main page at gmail.google.com, but 
you'll need an invitation to register an 
account. (Read more about Gmail in 
the article "It's Not Email, It's Gmail" 
on page 64.) 

Google Growth 

Google's main page rarely gains or 
sheds links, but Google pages may 
change as the company adds new 
tools. Although our graphics and de- 
scriptions are accurate as we go to 
print, you may discover some changes 
by the time you read this issue. Also, 
the titles of some of Google's new fea- 
tures include "Beta," which means 
they're still at some (advanced) testing 
stage. That said, don't ignore a Google 
tool simply because you're waiting for 
the official release. After all, Gmail 
Beta has been around since 2004, and 
Froogle Beta started in 2002. [n] 

by Joshua Gulick 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 9 



All About Google 



* m «- u. M ■* > 

O"" • • ^ ; , •— •"- e . =•*>- »•* »*-" 

t H «• «« *),*. ,.- ,.:-, «.** fr. ft,. d jl *„ *- dM 
,»» | Hit IW SB* ttM LSfllf iiiM MHLl 

Google •- r^^--— 


■ 1 1 1 1 

GMM4B5D35M |HKH «MhcW<iar»fltM 5DI_00T9S**IH«J 


i « 




Ks i n i. 



| Images 

Forget the encyclo- 
pedia: Google can 
hunt down thou- 
sands of pictures 
that relate to your 
search term in less 
than a second. 



2 1 Froogle 

Google's beta 
shopping service 
combines tons of 
online retailers into 
a single store. You 
can sort your re- 
sults by price and 
even search within 
the results for 
items that meet 
your budgeted 
price range. 




M 



Gw1MBL2Cltl».tom. 




. 



o- 


j M — f . 


so*. ; «, 


OW^-,*^! 


- n+> «;<■- «>.* a 


«««_**.* -0 


•m 


■pmh Bus yen 'jk* 


L«* nHLl 


Google = 




1?— ,1 




"™ 


!**•*••*»- 


ZS^SSZtT 


£j=£2|££. 


s£=£ar ™ 



li 



3 1 Local 

Google puts the 
average phone 
book to shame 
with its local busi- 
ness directory. 
Simply enter the 
business category 
(such as "books" 
or "pizza") and 
then choose your area. A map sits next to the search 
results. The service can remember your location, so you 
won't need to enter it when you search again later. 




Getting Around Google 

Looking for something? Google offers much more than Web 
searches. You can find most of its services and tools on the 
main page and in the More, More, More... section. Keep in 
mind that Google updates its Web site; you may discover some 
changes on the site by the time you read this. 



File Edit View Favorites Tools Help 

Ba* - \jt\ \&\ j\ Search Favorites ,0 Q Google ^ || giraffe ^\ ($ Seal 

Address [^j http : //www .google . corn / v | Q G 

Links £) bit g\ CEL &\ CPU £}D Den g] eBay g] B Reg g] Fry's &\ intra g\ LJS &] Mnrch *e] Nwg ^ news g\ slsh 



Goosle" 



Web 


o 

Images Groups 


0© 

News Froogle Local 


more » 


o 


I 






IS 


vanced Search 




[ Google Search 


|| I'm Feeling Lucky 


1 * 


n fl u 3fle Toojg 



Advertising Programs - Business Solutions - About Google 
Make Google Your He 

SSBOS BDDBle - Seaidi in 8 E,16E.6S4.a3e web pages 



o- - ■ ■ * : , — — 


e . 


c«* 


— 


** 










-0 


*> 0a «i<w cm* *j— ■)•■« 4] 


.,, «,-. * 




«]•«■»« 


*» 




Got)g[e **-»*<••«»« 











4 1 Advanced Search 

If you use popular search 
terms, you may have a hard 
time picking out the search 
result hits from the misses. 
Refine your search by 
choosing from the engine's 
detailed search options. 



q h - . • ; ,/w ■•'(■«- ~€ * 



C->- ^"Bl«l»M ■?« • *.-«.■ 



Google «*****«i!**fw- 




For WM MMmi: aufft WMmt 


SUSS* - " 


^^^^|^^ 


■ "■ is 




■ 111 


HttlMt,,**,,!*,,, 





5 1 Advertising Programs 

If people visit your Web site 
every day, rake in a little cash 
by adding a list targeting links 
to your site via Google's 
AdSense. If you offer products 
and want to reach potential 
customers as they search, 
check out AdWords. 



10 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 




Answers 

Are you willing to pay to 
find out the answers to 
your pressing questions? 
Google's Answers experts 
charge $2.50 and more 
to research the answers 
to questions. 



7 Catalogs 



Many retailers let customers 

shop via their Web sites, but 

some still publish printed 

catalogs. Browse Google's 

massive collection of catalogs 

or donate a few of your own. 



O-- iiiOP— — * . *•*- •"* 




r-*~ " -- ■■ 




"XT- -l-l 1 HI* 


| 


I 


2tt'i*o" 






•&m 


"- : 4 


£ 






"J 

*W8 








Hi 




- ll K | M 1 BLl «llfc-< , 



Gou$?le she 



. Piwulii rour Ht.wj.9* 



'.--' &o&jltE<l»nikirMFiirFkiliix 



0* 



ft My lurch Hn 

dues* f> mi c 



* Go^l. khokr 



81 



Labs 



Check out the 
bleeding edge 
of Google in the 
Labs section. 
Many well- 
received fea- 
tures, such as 
Google Alerts 
and Desktop 2 
started here. 





^^m T^H <#*-" f 1 

■■■Hi 1 


■ai^B 


■a ■■ 



Google Services & Tools 

Google's clutter-free main page hides dozens of Google 
features that help users find information and communicate 
with the online world. Almost all of these features are free, so 
click the More link and dig into this digital treasure trove. 



Favorites Tools 



^Back - S ® ,_lJ /^Sean* ^ Favorites f^K.^ Google r [H 



£ http : /.:'■,■ -,■',■ .google , ■:oiii/intJ /en/options/ 



Links £] bit Jfej CEL | CPU j D Den eBay El Reg Frv's ^\ intra g\ US »ft] Mnrdi is] Nwg »e] news 4\ *** 



^Q B 



Google 



Nsws Froog 



Search the Web 



More, more, more .. 



Google Services 



''-100:115 Downloads 



Search Features 

Google has many 
web search features 
to help enhance your 
search, such as 
weather and movie 
information. 



o 
o 



Mobile 

Use Google on your mobile phone 



1. set a price, get an answe 
;.v3t inail-c; 







Browse the web by topic 



4 



sr with Google 



Search scholarly papers 

SMS 

Use text messaging for quick info 



<"'0 Groups 

''J'S Create mi ussion groups 



Search within specific topics 



S e a re h fo rimagesonthe we b 
n Google products 



.. A Labs 
O Try out m 



\ 



Web Search 



-^ Find local businesses ai 



& View maps end ge? directions 



^J Express yourself onlim 



Google Earth 

Explore the world from your PC 



% 

9 
^ 



Code 

Download APIs and open s 



/T\ Desktc 
^-&/ Search your own c 



c 

o 



■:; 

Toolbar 

Add a search box to your browser 



Instant message your pictur 



= View web page:; in cthsi languages 



■ 




y\ Video 

Google Video is one 

of Labs' newbies. 

This search engine 

scores TV and 

movie descriptions, titles, and even content (if 

the show or movie has closed captioning). Google 

also stores movies free of charge, so feel free to 

upload your home videos or any other movies to 

which you own the copyrights. 



101 



Ride Finder 



Don't waste time 
waiting in the rain for 
a cab. Thanks to Ride 
Finder, you can see 
taxi locations on a 
map of your area. 
The service lets you 
update the map as 
often as you want 
and displays each 
cab company's 
phone number. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 11 



J*.* - . z \ , <-*■ m*m f', . &<*-(= 



Google X 1 ^ 








111 Maps 



If you have trouble reading 
traditional maps, you'll love 
Google's mapping tool, which 
can provide a satellite image of 
your location, complete with 
superimposed street names. 
As a result, you can easily spot 
parks, stadiums, and other 
large landmarks. 



■ dm «]■*. t .i, «■*, «_.n &* «j~. tj^ «■ — «i— fc-t<- «!■ 



<5asste.~ 



■ hlHi'- l 'hV I -' l -l 






File Edit View Favorites Tools Help 




fr 


Q**' U S S B P^* S^ Favorites € | | 






GOOgle - || | g&Sea, 


. http:/..-'v-.-v.-v.-. google, convintl/en/options/ 




v|Q G o 


Links £j bit |£]CEL *]CPU DDen : eBay j El Reg ^] Fry's g ir 




LJS g] Mnrrfi g] Nwg <e] news - slsh " 


Got ^le 


Web Images Grc. 


Local 


more. 




1 


Search the Web 


o 








More, more, more ... 


Google Home 


Google Services 






About Gooale 
Help Center 


f-^ Alerts 
,y j#' Receive news and search results .is 


email 


fl* Mobile 
^ Use Google on your mobile phone 


"■. I - : i n 1 


■£%_ Answers 

"$%j Ask a cueshcn set a price get an answer 


g|& News 

^VF Search thousands of news stories 


Search Features 

Google has many 

to help enhance your 


£Z^ Catalogs 

^^. Search and browse mail ill- I 1 

/Jr\ Directory 

t^'' Browse the web by topic 


f£l Print 

»D Search the full text of books 

X? Scholar 
t^A 1 Search scholarly papers 


weather and movie 


**, Froogje 

VJ Shop smarter with Google 




^-^ SMS 

^|? Use text messaging for quick info 




CO Groups 


roups 


8 Special Sea' exes 
J 1 Search within specific topics 




U-— * Sean h r i ima -- n th- el 




„^fe. University Search 

^W Search a specific schccls ■.vebsite 




'\ Libs 

Try out new Goo;: 




Q Web Search 

\ Search over 8 billion web pages 




w Local 




i?5^ Do more with search 


/fk Mjg> Maps 
W9m IS£/ 






! Google Tools 






^^^I^J Express yourself online 




*^N Gooqle Earth 

'5S' Explore the world from your PC 




(« Code 
3^ Do source :■:: 




<W Find, edit and share your photos 


fl(^ /-\ Desktop Search 

y^J^S Search ■ :cmputer 




^_ Toolbar 

^^ Add a search box to your browser 


iVk R Bj Hfiiia 

^J^V. ,z . our pictures to trie 


» 


m Translate 

<. = Vie:, ■ guages 


©2005 Google - -'roqrams 


-■,-:.. 


ss Solutions -Abe- 






C ) 



121 Blogger 



13 1 Desktop 

This handy tool lets you 
quickly search your 
computer for pictures, 
documents, and other files. 
And thanks to the new 
Sidebar, it also lets you size 
up the latest news from the 
Web at a glance. Sidebar 
also displays photos and 
lets you take quick notes. 



Q— . .' i \ , -™ *™ «* „ C*#-|^ »i-*." 


- «» *« **» ««- «:-* »:•«. <jNft «— *l» *«_ »j„ ,-.— d* «<_ • 


^a* 


c^ 


f^ * 












■I'mihll'llBM^nJ 


Co £ 


/' 







If you have something to say 
to the world, register a free 
account with Blogger. The 
blogging tool lets you name 
and launch a blog in mere 
minutes. And thanks to Picasa, 
you can add pictures to it, too. 

14| Hello 

Thanks to Hello, you can 
share pictures as you chat 
with friends. The service 
lets your contact see the 
same pictures that you see. 
Hello integrates with 
Google's Picasa, so when 
friends send you pictures, 
they'll land in Picasa folders. 
(You won't need to move 
them manually.) 



■ 533 p 



»:« tfen ejmi #[!!-, * *., t.iiu, £** fjr*. «i|L» *;»rt t ;mn «j_ * -» 



Gm il 



Re : Question for CPU maganna *bout S YSnw* & 



1 »* ' 



B\P* 




On Google's Periphery. As of press time, the 
More, More, More... section included neither 
Google Gmail nor Google Talk. You can find the 
email and calling services at mail.google.com 
and www.google.com/talk, respectively. Gmail 
takes advantage of Google's powerful search 
engine to help users keep track of their saved 
email message. Talk is a new feature that lets 
users hold audible conversations with friends 
free via their computers. 



12 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



The Way Of 




It's More Complicated Than You May Realize 




Google has an in-house 
motto that we're pretty sure 
is unique in corporate Am- 
erica: "Don't be evil." As 
company co-founder Sergey Brin has 
explained, it's intended as an ethical 
barometer to guide decisions in ac- 
cordance with the management's pro- 
fessed desire to be a force for good in 
the world. 

As an unintended side effect, the 
motto provides ample ammunition 
for critics — and Google has its share — 
when they don't see things the compa- 
ny's way. For instance, Google doesn't 
accept gun ads, which, predictably, 
peeves the firearms lobby. And when 
Google announced that Gmail, its 
Web-based email service, provides so 
much storage space that users would 
never have to delete anything, privacy 
advocates had a fit, citing the potential 
for abuse. 

Google's founders, Sergey Brin and 
Larry Page, have tended to do things 
their own way much of the time, 



regardless of whether it appears to 
make sense from a general business 
perspective or conforms to the anti- 
establishment spirit that characterizes 
Silicon Valley culture. 

Nothing illustrates that better than 
the company's IPO in August 2004. 

Google For Sale 

An IPO (initial public offering) is 
the route by which a privately owned 
company transforms into a publicly 
held company by selling stock. While 
taking Google public, its founders 
were intent on wielding an unprece- 
dented amount of control, some of 
which worked out, and some of 
which backfired. 

They refused to disclose full finan- 
cial information, even to the banks 
and brokerage firms that would be in- 
strumental in the process. They also 
issued a new type of stock, with just 
10% of the voting power relative to 
the stock held by themselves, Google 



employees, and the company's early 
backers. To make the IPO more egali- 
tarian for small investors, they uti- 
lized a rare Dutch auction, meaning 
that the buyers would determine the 
lowest possible final price for every- 
one. This rankled Wall Street, which 
is accustomed to giving favored in- 
vestors discount prices in IPOs. 

Further headaches surfaced when it 
came out that Brin and Page had 
granted an interview to Playboy maga- 
zine in April 2004, a week before filing 
for the IPO. This raised concerns about 
possible violations of Securities and 
Exchange Commission regulations on 
what company executives can say while 
preparing for an IPO. This, and the 
revelation that they'd neglected to reg- 
ister millions of employee-held shares, 
reflected badly on their judgment. 

In the end the IPO went off on 
schedule, and although the price per 
share fell below their target, a little 
over a year later, it's currently trading 
around 280% higher. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 13 



All About Google 



Google Tools 



«?J 



The View From Outside 

Google is a company with an in- 
creasingly complex reputation that 
often depends on one's perspective. 

To be sure, the company 
has built up an enormous 
amount of public goodwill. 
It developed better search 
technology that worked so 
well that Google didn't just 
become top dog among 
Internet search engines; 
the name itself became 
synonymous with search, 
even entering the public 
lexicon as a verb. 

The stock is doing well, 

with the most recent earn- 
ings reports posting a 400+% rise in 
profits over a year ago. And although 
Brin and Page have claimed that the 
only thing they're serious about is 
search, the company has been devel- 
oping more and more software tools 
and offering them for free. 

Shareholders and users tend to 
love that. 

Back to the motto, though: "Don't 
be evil." It sounds positively childlike, 
reflecting the idealism and even 
naivety with which Brin and Page 
went into business, plus their desire 
for Google to be counted among the 
good guys. On the other hand, it's 
conceivable that in addition to hav- 
ing a clear idea of what they wanted 
Google to be, they also had a model in 
mind for what they didn't want it to 
become in the process: Microsoft. 

For years, Microsoft has been re- 
ferred to by many as "the evil empire," 
and practically anyone on the street 
can tell you why: its domineering 
presence, draconian business prac- 
tices, and its seeming love of crushing 
competition, for starters. 

Microsoft is still a monolith, but a 
funny thing has happened over recent 
years. After slowed sales growth, a 
plague of antitrust lawsuits, and well- 
publicized delays in bringing out the 
successor to Windows XP, Microsoft 
has become the devil we know, rather 



than the devil we don't. It can't sur- 
prise us anymore. 

Enter Google, which, despite its me- 
teoric rise, is just getting started. If its 
founders wanted to avoid being seen as 



B logger 

Express yourself online 



^L Download APIs and open source code 



9 



Google Earth 

Explore the world from your PC 



£1- Picasa 

\^ Find, edit and share your photos 



f\ Desktop Search 



Search your own computer 



o- 



Instant message your pictures to friends 



Add a search box to your browser 

Translate 
; View web pages in other languages 



If predictions are correct, this current crop of Google software 
is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what's coming. 



the new Microsoft, it's ironic, then, 
that this is exactly how many of its 
Silicon Valley neighbors are starting to 
view it. They claim it's gotten too big, 
too powerful, too fast, and is stifling 
innovation elsewhere by skimming 
away the cream of the talent pool. 

Then there's the future. As we go to 
press, Google has just announced plans 
for a second stock offering expected to 
raise another $4 billion in cash. Where 
will it go? Speculation 
is rampant, and includ- 
es mobile and Internet 
phone service, an online 
payment service, its own 
browser, and a software 
suite aimed at competing 
with Microsoft Office. 

A backlash against phe- 
nomenal success is in- 
evitable, but perhaps the 
most telling (or ominous) 
indicator of Google's fu- 
ture comes from Bill 
Gates, in a recent inter- 
view with Fortune maga- 
zine: "[They're] more like 
us than anyone else we 
have ever competed with." 



than just an environment that 
sounds like a genuinely fun place to 
work: the informal campus-like at- 
mosphere and recreational facilities, 
the onsite masseuse, the cafeteria 
chef who used to cook for 
the Grateful Dead. 

It's also a corporate cul- 
ture that tries to avoid 
putting people at one 
another's throats. Employ- 
ees praise the work envi- 
ronment's transparency. 
"Teams are actively en- 
couraged to share the most 
intimate details of their 
projects with the rest of 

the company," says one 

software engineer. "This 
means that there isn't an adversarial 
relationship between teams that can 
lead to longstanding animosities and 
information hiding." 

There are also several specifics. 
The 20% time policy. Google's soft- 
ware engineers get to spend 20% of 
their work time (or one day a week) 
on technological projects of personal 
interest, rather than their active com- 
pany projects. This isn't an option, 



S- ;-so- •?■" e s -t : 'Jo-': 5s 

Afraid' 

C- icgo Tribune 2 hrs ago 



O Web Clips 



Stocks - D JI 106 1 3 . 20 + 18 . 79 « T 



57°F Clear - Fremont, CA 




D Quick View 

Google Print Help Center 
Mozilla Firefbx Start Page 
Google Print 
DesktopFeatures . doc 
features, html 



Type to search 



The Sidebar in Google 
Desktop is a modular 
group of utilities, some 
Internet-connected, similar 
to Apple's new Widgets, 
only for the PC 



Google's DNA 

Want to know some of the things 
that make Google tick? It's more 



but mandatory, and it's 
bearing fruit. Giving smart 
people a certain amount 
of freedom doesn't just 
fight job burnout and 
keep them fresher and 
more energized the rest of 
the time. It can also lead 
to innovations that might 
not otherwise emerge and 

that can improve operations behind 

the scenes or join Google's growing 

arsenal of tools and services. 

This is exactly how Gmail came 

about. The idea began as nothing 



14 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



more than a Google user's misgivings 
over the limitations of her existing 
Web -based email account: It was diffi- 
cult to manage efficiently, and she was 
constantly forced to delete mail to re- 
main under the 4MB storage limit. 
Her complaint came to the attention 
of a Google engineer, who thought 
that developing a solution would 
make a great 20% time project. The 
result was Gmail, an email service you 
can use and search from anywhere, 
with gigabytes of storage capacity. 

The Ten Things. Google's manage- 
ment has codified 10 truisms that un- 
derlay the way it tries to do business 
and how it regards Google's role on 
the Web. 

1. Focus on the user, and all else 
will follow. 

As Google has grown, it has used 
one criterion to evaluate each potential 
change: Will it benefit the end user? If 
not, it doesn't happen. Nor should any 
changes erode what users have come to 
expect: a straightforward interface, no 
waiting time on search results, results 
that haven't been manipulated by 
selling placement, and advertising that 
remains relevant and unobtrusive. 

2. It's best to do one thing really, 
really well. 

Some search engines seem as 
though their primary goal is to dis- 
tract you from what you showed up 
to do in the first place. Drop by an- 
other prominent site, and you're 
bombarded with news headlines, en- 
tertainment headlines, a list of the 
week's new movies, links to horo- 
scopes and a music service, weather 
and traffic reports, and more. 

Google's landing page looks as aus- 
tere as ever. Although the company is 
developing other products and ser- 
vices, you never get the sense that these 
interfere with the original mission. 

3. Fast is better than slow. 
Whenever Google provides you 

with search results, near the upper 
right of the page you'll see how long 
it took. We've never seen one that 
has exceeded a fraction of a second. 
To ensure that things move at the 



maximum possible speed, Google 
developed new computer configura- 
tions and search algorithms, and 
prunes the excess from pages to keep 
them streamlined. 

4. Democracy on the Web works. 
To determine how Web pages are 

ranked in terms of relevance, Google 
doesn't rely on the number of hits the 
pages get, but by analyzing the number 
of other sites that link to them, and 
those pages' place in the rankings. 
Using this method, Web sites are, in 
essence, voting for their peers. 

5. You don't need to be at your desk 
to need an answer. 

The need for infor- 
mation transcends of- 
fice computers and 
wireless- enabled note- 
book PCs. Google is 
committed to bringing 
search results to cell 
phones, PDAs, and 
even cars . . . and, 
when necessary, devel- 
oping new technolo- 
gies that make Web 
pages viewable in gad- 
gets that otherwise 
couldn't display them. 

6. You can make 
money without doing 
evil. 

This time, evil comes 
down to something 
quite specific: adver- 
tising. Because Goo- 

gle refuses to let paid 
ads create a conflict of interest that 
compromises the integrity of its search 
results, ads are labeled "Sponsored 
Links," and no one can buy a higher 
placement to override their page rank- 
ings. The company doesn't permit ad- 
vertising to distract from search 
results, either. Ads are text- only, kept 
separate from the results, and appear 
only if relevant to the search terms. 

7. There's always more informa- 
tion out there. 

Google may have made a break- 
through by indexing more Web pages 





[] 






HHews 


« ▼ 




31 Web Clips 


« » 




= Scratch Pad 


« " 




(§' 57°F Clear - Fremont, CA 


« T 




Stocks ■ DJI 10613.20 +13.79 « ~ 




M Photos 


« ▼ 








M^W 


Google 


... No documents containing 'wor* 
i^\ WebmasterWorid News and Dis.. 
■_. jIltt-:: Vzves. Se-es. 'Veb. ... 
.^j How Stuff Works - Learn how E... 


- WW... 


t^JJ. \UKA ; ff^ffEM 


Search Hone ► 
|Gl Search Web: wor 


~1 


|wor| 


I| 



Google's Desktop Search 
functions bury Windows 
XP's built-in search, which 
won't be improved until 
the next operating system 
release in 2006. 



was only a start. The Internet consists 
of more than just text pages written in 
standard HTML (Hypertext Markup 
Language) code. To expand its search 
horizons and make more of the avail- 
able data accessible, Google developed 
ways of including databases, graphic 
images, and PDF (Portable Document 
Format) files and other document 
formats, such as work created with 
Microsoft's Office Suite. 

8. The need for information 
crosses all borders. 

More than 50% of Google's 
searches are conducted by users out- 
side the United States. Google pro- 
vides language tools 
that let users trans- 
late foreign pages, and 
while the results can be 
grammatically clunky, 
you can usually under- 
stand the point. As 
well, users can limit 
searches to pages in 
any of 35 languages 
and set the interface to 
display in any of 116 
(so far) languages . . . 
although we suspect 
that the Elmer Fudd 
and Klingon options 
will draw a very limited 
user base. 

9. You can be se- 
rious without a suit. 
This applies mainly 
to the corporate cul- 
ture, in which people 
don't take themselves so seriously 
that they never hear innovative ideas 
that might get bogged down in a 
stricter hierarchy. Instead, even sug- 
gestions that emerge from cafeteria 
conversations get tested and tried as 
soon as possible. 

As one employee posted in his blog, 
"[Tjhere isn't a lot of c stop energy' at 
Google. My colleagues in engineering, 
marketing, etc. don't react to new 
ideas with c You can't do that,' but 
usually with 'cool' and a tip as to who 
to talk to in the organization who is 



than any other search engine, but this likely to be of the most help." 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 15 



10. Great just isn't good enough. 

When it comes to technology, 
there's no such thing as a moun- 
taintop that, once climbed, means 
your job is done and it's time to enjoy 
the view. Instead, there's always 
faster, better, and more accurate to 
think of. Google's ultimate goal is to 
foresee needs that its users don't yet 
realize they have. 

No pop-ups. Nobody likes pop-up 
ads. They're the Web's version of 



They install invisible programs that 
launch ads at random or target you 
with ads based on searches you con- 
duct or words you type while online. 

Software principles. Speaking of 
underhanded tools for weaseling into 
your computer and life, Google is op- 
posed to them, as well. This includes 
adware, spyware that gathers your 
personal information and relays it to 
third parties, and more nefarious 
malware (malignant code, often in the 



M 



rW f^J- Mh«p://mail.90ogle.tom/mail/?auth=DQAAAGgAAAAStDeWpXQt2keMpnPdNO ' Q E3 T 



Sloan Cmail FP Y! News CMaps WiFi C-List BB BoA IMDb flavorpill /. Snopes TypcPad clarkblog TypePad QukkPost WebMail Login 



'No Country For Old Men' by Cor... 



Favorite movie comedies... 



Gwcil 



^gmailxom | Settings | Help | Sign out 
Search Mail I Search the Web [ Show search options 

1 Create a filter 



Compose Mail 

Inbox (1) 
Starred ♦ 
Sent Mail 
Drafts m 

All Mail 
Spam (3) 

Trash 

Contacts 



▼ Invite a friend 

Give Gmail to: 



Archive | Report Spam | More Actions ... _^J Refresh 



1-50 of 757 Older? Oldest » 



Select: All, None, I 

r «*«*-> 

r ■ 

r »•» — 

r 

r — 

r mm 

r mm 

r mji 

r tmn 

r m 

r *^ 

r m* 

r mm 
r 



I, Unread, Starred, Unstarred 

FW: gig info - BLOCKQUOTE sty le= FAD DING-LEFT: Spx; W 6 :35 pm 

Todd's Birthday Hello All. Forgive the last minute-ness of this -I 6:11 pm 
Do you like good music? ■ C-man: I'll most likely go with you totl'^5:41 pm 
Reality Show lawsuit - from LA Times, 8/25/2005 Business sectic 2:23 pm 
FW: Web-Site Stuff Original Message From: Dominic Dimitri [mi^2:08 pm 
Free Screenwriting Podcast ■■ Sign Up Now! - Creative Screenw 1:37 pm 
FW: http://schools. my s pa ce.com/index.cfm?fuseaction= schools. 1:37 pm 
hiya - Hey hon. I've now met all my students ... and done my Mi 1:30 pm 
KCRW and UCLA Live Present Theater of the New Ear www .k 12:22 pm 
Need a screen shot from you NOOOOOOOW! - Ah. you're the t 12:07 pm 
The World at the Laemmle - Dang, not the best weekend for me t 10:11 am 



Saturday, in the park, you'd think it was the 4th of July... - Yo! :) H 9:03 am 

Welcome to Playwriting! Hello all Thanks for taking my Intro to 8:15 am 

P I ay writing class - _ @fairmontstate.edu Ji 7:57 am 

Test 



7:57 am 



tonite ■ I wanted you to take a look at this: it was the very first sei^Aug 24 
KCRW Music Library eNewsletter - Moog RIP - KCRW Music N( Aug 24 
love you! - me too! that's a nice image, mmmm... made it into wor Aug 24 
[nohow riters group] Poll results for n oh owriters group I he followi Aug 24 
question for Craig Wright - No hurry. Tell him I've partied with Mu Aug 23 
Family Tree - FAMILY TREE 23adf8.jpg Hi there.. .this is me... Mt^Aug 23 
last call for Al IFNS - MeJnn! I love that flicks from mv vouth are Aun 23 



Gmail is just one of the innovations that arose from Google's "20% time" policy. 



pushy salesmen who jam their feet in 
your door. Google doesn't accept 
them from advertisers, period. 

If it appears that pop-ups are lit- 
tering your screen while you're vis- 
iting Google, it may be a coincidence 
of timing, with the ads coming from 
somewhere else. Some sites launch 
ads that appear under your open 
browser window, and you don't see 
them until later; others fire pop-ups 
only when you leave the site and 
move to your next stop. 

In other cases, ads may come from 
within your PC. Many music sharing 
and other programs that are osten- 
sibly free come with a hidden price: 



form of viruses, Trojans, and/or 
worms) that violates your rights, pri- 
vacy, and can even assume partial 
control of your PC. 

We've reached a point where thou- 
sands, maybe millions, of users are 
finding it easier to scrap otherwise 
good PCs that are clogged with junk 
programs, starting all over again with 
a new machine rather than attempting 
to clean up the old one. 

In the interest of safeguarding 
users, Google has codified six general 
principles for developing and distrib- 
uting software. Google doesn't just 
follow them in-house; the company 
also encourages current and potential 



business partners to adhere to them 
and promotes them as good for the 
industry as a whole. 

In a nutshell, these six Software 
Principles are: 

1. Software shouldn't be concealed in- 
side other programs and install itself 
without your knowledge or consent. 
You should know what you're get- 
ting and have the option of saying 
no to anything you don't want. 

2. Software should come with clear, 
full disclosure of what it does and if 
a third party is going to send any- 
thing to you or receive information 
about you. 

3. If you no longer want a program, it 
shouldn't be harder to get rid of 
than a brain tumor. 

4. If a program impacts or alters your 
user experience, it should identify 
itself as the cause and inform you 
as to why it's doing so. 

5. Programs that collect and relay 
personal data should alert you to 
what they're doing, inform you 
how your data will be used, and re- 
quire your consent before sending 
the information. 

6. Software developers shouldn't 
allow their products to be bundled 
with programs that don't adhere to 
these ethical standards. 

With Liberty & Google For All? 

Despite truism number 2 (it's best to 
do one thing really, really well), it's ob- 
vious that Google's plans for the future 
are huge and diverse. Its leaders would 
be fools otherwise. Although the com- 
pany's profits from its search engine's 
ad revenue have been impressive, all it 
would take to topple Google's preemi- 
nence is for someone else to develop an 
even better engine. When was the last 
time you used former top dog Lycos? 

We just hope, as Google continues 
to grow, now under increasing share- 
holder pressure, its leaders will con- 
tinue to stick to their guns . . . even if 
they don't accept ads for them, [jjs] 

by Brian Hodge 



16 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



Test Drive 
These Tools 

The Newest Ideas Are At Google Labs 




As you can see from the size 
of this issue, Google in- 
cludes many features be- 
yond its original, basic Web 
search engine. Google now includes 
an image-search tool, links to news 
headlines, newsgroups, and more. 
Even with so many existing tools, 
though, Google engineers are not 
content. They continue to develop 
new tools that may become standard 
Google features in the future. In 
Google Labs (labs.google.com), you 
can try out the latest ideas from the 
folks at Google. 

Lab Work 

Google launched its Labs site in 
May 2002. The first tools users could 



try out were Google Glossary (a quick 
way to find definitions), Google Voice 
Search (a phone-based search tool), 
Google Sets (which creates a full list 
of related items from a few examples), 
and Google Keyboard Shortcuts 
(which let users browse search results 
using a keyboard rather than a 
mouse). Of these four original Google 
Labs experiments, two still exist. 
Google Glossary is now a standard 
Google feature. Google Sets still ex- 
ists, but it has never left Google Labs. 
It is still officially an unsupported 
"experiment" of a Google engineer. 

The tools on Google Labs pages are 
nothing more than prototypes de- 
signed by Google employees. The 
Labs tools are not necessarily prod- 
ucts that will ever become full-fledged 



Google services. In fact, at any time, a 
Google Labs feature may disappear or 
change significantly. According to 
Google, a tool may disappear from 
Google Labs for many reasons. Often, 
users find that a prototype just 
isn't stable yet or doesn't work well 
enough to remain on the Google Labs 
page. Sometimes, Google notes that a 
certain Google Labs project doesn't 
elicit many clicks, and Google will re- 
move the tool for lack of interest. 
Occasionally, Google must tem- 
porarily remove a feature from the 
Google Labs page because it is so pop- 
ular that the vast amounts of Web 
traffic it creates cause problems for 
Google's servers. Sometimes van- 
ishing Google Labs prototypes will 
reappear after further development, 
but other times, Google simply aban- 
dons an idea and it never returns. 

These tools are often not as pol- 
ished as more established, official 
Google features, such as Google 
Images or Froogle. You may occa- 
sionally find a Google Labs project 




On the Google Labs page, you can try 
out several experimental tools that 
Google has not officially launched. 



that doesn't work as expected or that 
doesn't work at all. Remember that 
the Google Labs tools are experiments 
and that they are still in development. 
Google does provide the means to 
communicate any problems or praise 
to the tool's engineer. We will discuss 
this in more detail later in this article. 
Finally, we should also note that 
Google Labs projects may be slow to 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 17 



All About Google 




One of the Google Labs prototypes 
lets you personalize your Google 
home page to include the news 
headlines, bookmarks, and other 
content that you use most. 



see improvements because Google en- 
gineers develop these projects in their 
spare time. Although Google encour- 
ages this experimentation, each engi- 
neer's priority is still the support of 
current, non-Labs tools. 

By browsing the Graduates Of Labs 
list on the Google Labs page, you can 
get an idea of some of the prototypes 
that were successful 
enough to capture the 
attention of Google's 
decision-makers. Past 
Google Labs experi- 
ments that are now 
standard Google fea- 
tures include Google 
SMS (see "Message 
Marvel" on page 81), 
Google Desktop Search 
(see "Search Engine 
Jr." on page 93), Goo- 
gle Groups 2 (see "Get 
The Message?" on page 73), Google 
Deskbar (a Google search field on your 
Taskbar), Web Alerts (email updates 
about new search results), Google Local 
(see "In The Neighborhood" on page 
46), Google Glossary, and Google 
News Alerts (see "Read All About It" on 
page 38). 



Google Labs page. We'll cover each of 
the Google Labs tools below. Please 
keep in mind that Google often pulls 
existing Labs prototypes with no 
warning, and it also frequently adds 
new Labs prototypes. For this reason, 
some of the features we cover may no 
longer exist or may have graduated 
from the Google Labs area. Likewise, 
there may be newer Google Labs tools 
that were not yet posted at press time. 

Personalize Your Homepage (www 
.google.com/ig). As of press time, 
Personalize Your Homepage was the 
most recent addition to Google Labs. 
This feature lets you create a start 
page from which you will find the 
types of news stories, search tools, 
and other content that you have 
chosen. You can personalize this start 
page to contain the tools and links 
that you access most often. You must 
have a Google Account to create and 
save a home page. 

To get started, click Personalize Your 
Homepage. Click Add Content instead 
if you've already personalized your 



example, if you click Edit for Top 
Stories, you can choose how many 
headlines appear by selecting from a 
drop -down menu. When you are fin- 
ished, click the Save button. If you do 
not need to make any changes, click 
Close Edit. 

To remove any items from your 
home page, click the X button next to 
it. For instance, when we created our 
page, Google automatically displayed 
the weather forecast for Happy, Texas. 
To remove this forecast, we clicked the 
X button next to Happy, TX. 

Finally, you can rearrange the items 
on your home page by clicking and 
dragging them to a new location. For 
instance, you might want to move the 
Weather and News sections to the top 
of the page, so you can see the fore- 
cast and headlines at a glance. 

When you are finished editing your 
home page, click the Save Page button 
in the upper-left corner of the right 
pane. The site will prompt you to log 
in to your Google Account if you're 
not already logged in. 



editE 

Reuters - all 1706 related » 

Indefinite deadlines 

Al-Ahrarn Weekly - all 2116 related » 

Ingush PM Injured in Roadside Attack 
The Moscow Times - all 144 related » 



World edits 

Talks on Iraqi charter extended 
BBC News - all 2116 related » 



Abbas discu Gaza pullout 

MSNBC - all 2949 related » 



/■:.: 



Because Google Labs tools are still experimental, they 
may not always work as expected. Here, you can see that 
Personalize Your Homepage didn't work perfectly when we 
tried it out. The Edit and Close (X) buttons didn't display or 
function properly for the first news section. 



Now Testing 

As of press time, there are many 
prototypes available for testing on the 



page in the past. A 
list of options ap- 
pears in the left pan- 
el. Google divides 
your potential page 
content into several 
categories (My Stuff, News, Business, 
Technology, Sports, Lifestyle, Fun, and 
Create A Section). 

Click the arrow next to any of the 
categories to expand the list. You can 
then add items, such as Bookmarks, 
Movies, BBC News, and Weather, to 
your personalized page. Any content 
you choose will appear in the right 
pane, in a preview of your page. 

To change individual items on your 
page, such as Top Stories or Weather, 
click the Edit link for that item. As an 



Google Extensions For Firefox 
(toolbar.google.com/firefox/exten 
sions/index.html). These extensions 
are small programs that you can load 
into your Mozilla Firefox browser to 
add special Google functions to the 
browser. These Firefox-compatible 
tools include Google Toolbar, Google 
Send To Phone, and Google Suggest. 

The Firefox Google Toolbar is very 
similar to the Google Toolbar already 
available for Internet Explorer. (See 
"Tool(bar) Time" on page 88 for more 
information about the standard, IE- 
compatible Google Toolbar.) 

With Google Send To Phone, you 
can send short segments of text from a 
Web page to your cell phone as a text 
message. To use Google Send To 



18 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



Phone, you just highlight the text you 
want to send, click the cell phone icon, 
type the phone number in the To field, 
choose your phone's carrier from the 
Carrier drop-down menu, and click 
the Send Message button. 

Because text messages are short, 
you will not use Google Send To 
Phone to send lengthy news articles or 
similar items. Instead, this tool is most 
useful for sending phone numbers, 
addresses, movie times, and other in- 
formation you might look up online. 

Finally, you can use Google Suggest 
with Firefox. You can learn more about 
Google Suggest later in this article. Of 
the three Firefox extensions, Google 
Suggest is the only one that does not 
require you to download and install 
software. To use the Firefox Google 
Toolbar or Google Send To Phone, 
downloadable utilities are required. 




You can add items such as bookmarks 
to favorite sites, movie listings, news 
headlines, and even RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) or Atom feeds to your 
personalized home page. 



Personalized Search (www.google 
.com/psearch). This is another Google 
Labs tool that gives you access to more 
personalized content and requires you 
to have a Google Account. If you sign 
up for Google's Personalized Search, 
Google will retain records of your pre- 
vious searches. As it learns more about 
the types of searches you run, it will 
adjust the results of future searches 
accordingly. For instance, if you fre- 
quently run searches related to horses, 
Personalized Search should return 



more horse- related results and fewer 
Ford- related results than the average 
user would get. Your search results 
should get more accurate the longer 
you use Personalized Search. 

Now let's say that one day you do 
want to search for sites about Ford 
Mustangs, but you're getting too many 
results about horses. Simply click Turn 
OFF Personalized Search For These 
Results from the page of search results. 
If you don't see that link at the top of 
the page, you know that your person- 
alized results didn't differ from what 
any other user would see. 

Google Video (video.google.com). 
Google Video is similar to Google 
Images, except that it searches for video 
content rather than still images. You 
can search only for videos that you can 
play on your computer by selecting the 
Playable Video radio button, or you 
can select the All Video radio button to 
search for all video, including television 
content that is not online. 

If you choose All Video, you will 
see thumbnail images of still shots 
from television shows and a brief de- 
scription. If you click the thumbnail, 
you will see larger still images from 
that episode, as well as excerpts of the 
script taken from closed captioning. 
On the left side of the page, Google 
Video may also show air times for the 
program under About This Show. 
You may need to click Edit Location 
to enter your ZIP code. Google Video 
is a very new tool, and we found that 
we couldn't get any listings for our 
ZIP code, so the usefulness of this fea- 
ture depends on your geographic lo- 
cation and the participation of your 
local TV stations. 

In addition to results from TV 
broadcasts, you will also see online 
videos that you can play. If you can 
play a video, a play icon will appear 
next to the video's title. To play these 
videos, you will need to download and 
install the Google Video Viewer (video 
.google.com/video_download.html). 

Google Web Accelerator (webaccel 
erator.google.com). Google Web Accel- 
erator is another tool that requires a 



download. Once you install the Google 
Web Accelerator, if you have a broad- 
band connection, your pages should 
load faster. Google accomplishes this by 
dedicating specific servers to handling 
Google Web Accelerator traffic, storing 
copies of or prefetching pages you visit 
often, letting your system download 



'"-'"^■"■■'"' 






o--- i .- : 


_ 


m. P i G**t.!*. W M- Cm - tf w 9u»«— - 


/■* i 








„.„,.. 


»c— . * » w *,. f -*u,„^_ w -*^ H ,^-« 


VMM 


^■■■Sl*. 




m-wmmm 


sssa-a--. 










""** •°"" * 


***"*■ -*»—»-<»*- »•■*<- ■*•- ffmftart'Mn 








'*" 



Google Video is a new tool that lets you 
search for playable videos and TV listings. 

only changes to a Web page rather than 
the entire content, and compressing 
data. Google Web Accelerator has a 
counter that shows you how much time 
you've saved by using it. 

We were not able to try out Google's 
Web Accelerator because the project 
had already reached its maximum ca- 
pacity. A message on the project's page 
indicated that Google planned to in- 
crease the number of users that its 
Web Accelerator can support. 

My Search History (www.google 
.com/searchhistory). If you choose to 
activate this tool, which recently be- 
came part of Google's Personalized 
Search, you can access records of your 
previous searches. This could be useful 
if you are conducting academic re- 
search, looking for genealogy records 
online, or doing other long-term work 
in which you might want to see which 
searches you've already done. Once 
you activate My Search History, you 
can view past searches by signing into 
your Google Account and clicking 
Search History. If you want Google not 
to store some searches, click Search 
History and Pause. To begin storing 
search data again, click Search History 
and Resume. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 19 



All About Google 



If you forgot to pause this feature 
or know that you no longer need 
records of certain searches, click 
Search History and Remove Items. 
Select the checkbox for any searches 
you don't want to save and click the 
Remove button. Finally, to protect 
your privacy, remember to always log 
out of your Google Account when 
you are finished if others will use the 
same computer. 

Google Ride Finder (labs. google 
.com/ridefinder). You can use this 
tool to find a ride, such as a shuttle 
service, a taxi, or a limousine. This 
service is currently only available in 
selected areas, including Atlanta, 
Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Mil- 
waukee, New York, Phoenix, San 
Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, and 
Washington, D.C. 

Google Maps (maps.google.com). 
Google Maps is similar to other online 
mapping services, such as Yahoo! 
Maps (maps.yahoo.com) or MapQuest 
(www.mapquest.com). One of the 
most striking differences, though, is 
that you can view satellite imagery as 
well as basic maps. For more details 
about using Google Maps, see "Are We 
There Yet?" on page 55. 

Google Suggest (www.google.com 
/webhp?complete=18dil=en). Google 
Suggest is an interesting tool that pro- 
vides suggestions of keywords as you 
type. These keywords appear in a 
drop-down menu underneath the 
main search field. To learn more about 
Google Suggest, see "Helpful Hints" 
on page 30. Google Labs also features a 
Japanese version of Google Suggest. 

Google Scholar (scholar. google 
.com). Google Scholar is a tool that is 
useful primarily to students and re- 
searchers, although anyone willing to 
wade through scholarly works may 
find some benefit to this Google Labs 
project. Google Scholar searches only 
scholarly literature rather than all on- 
line sources. Scholar returns results 
not only for free online content but 
also subscription-only content and 
print-only articles (which Google 
Scholar identifies through citations 



I — 






Google = -r ^ 







Google Ride Finder shows available taxis 
and shuttles for select cities. Here, you 
can see a map of the available rides and 
contact information for each company. 



in other scholarly works). Google 
Scholar serves as a giant catalog of 
academic literature. This project is 
quite popular but still growing and 
will likely see more improvements 
before it officially becomes a stan- 
dard Google feature. For a detailed 
description of Google Scholar, see 
"Smart Searches" on page 59. 

Site-Flavored Google Search (www 
.google.com/services/siteflavored 
.html). This is a prototype available to 
Web site owners and administrators. 
You may have seen Google search 
fields on some third-party Web sites; 
the Site-Flavored variety is similar, 
but you can customize the search field 
to return results that are more in line 
with the content of your Web site. 

Froogle Wireless (labs.google.com 
/froogl ewml.html). This is a mobile 
version of Froogle (froogle. google 
.com), a Google tool that lets you 
search for products and prices online. 
Froogle Wireless lets you search for 
deals online using a WML (Wireless 
Markup Language)-enabled cell 
phone. The benefit to using Froogle 
Wireless is that you can do compar- 
ison shopping while you're at a store. 
You can easily compare the price 
you'd pay in town to the price you'd 
pay online. 

To use Froogle Wireless, you need 
to use your cell phone's built-in 
browser to visit wml.froogle.com. A 
search field will appear on your 



phone's screen. Use the phone's 
keypad to type the product for which 
you want to search. Then select the 
Search button. You can use the arrow 
keys on your phone to browse the on- 
screen search results. 

Google Compute (toolbar.google 
.com/dc/offerdc.html). As you've 
noticed, most of Google Labs' proto- 
types are designed to help you in 
some way. Google Compute is the 
exception in that it's designed to let 
you help others. By installing Google 
Compute, you can donate your PC's 
unused processing cycles to research. 

You may have heard of SETI- 
@home (setiathome.ssl.berkeley 
.edu), a well-known distributed- 
computing project. SETI stands for 
the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelli- 
gence. Project volunteers donate their 
processors' unused cycles to process 
radio signals in hopes of discovering 
abnormal, possibly extraterrestrial 
signals. This type of computing 
power would normally require a su- 
percomputer, but through distrib- 
uted computing, many computers 
can combine their processing power 
to create a "virtual supercomputer." 




Google Maps is unique in that it 
not only can show you maps for 
locations and routes but also satellite 
imagery of the area. 

Google Compute works in a similar 
manner, except that instead of do- 
nating your CPU's unused cycles to 
the search for aliens, you donate your 
computer's untapped potential to sci- 
entific research. Currently, Google 
Compute donates your CPU's spare 



20 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



processing power to Folding@home 
(folding.stanford.edu), a project that 
models protein-folding, the process 
by which proteins form in the body. 
When an error occurs in protein- 
folding, the result is often a medical 
disorder. Folding@home seeks to find 
the mechanism by which various dis- 
eases, such as Alzheimer's, develop. 
For those of us who know very little 
about science or medicine, donating 
our processors' unused cycles to re- 
search may be one of the only ways 
we can truly contribute to important 
medical research. 

Google Sets (labs.google.com/sets). 
Finally, the last of Google Labs' pro- 
jects is Google Sets, one of the orig- 
inal Google Labs prototypes back in 
2002. The Google Sets page provides 
you with five blank fields in which 
you can type a series of words or 
phrases that are related in some way. 
You then click either the Large Set or 




Google Scholar searches for published 
scholarly papers. You can view the 
paper if it is available online, and 
Google Scholar can also display other 
articles that cited the work. 

Small Set (15 Items Or Fewer) button 
to see a list of words or phrases that 
Google thinks are related. Each word 
or phrase in the list is hyperlinked. If 
you click the link, you will see a 
Google Web Search list of hits for that 
word or phrase. This can be a useful 
tool if you need to find terms or con- 
cepts that are related to a topic you 
are researching. 

Other Goodies In The Lab. In addi- 
tion to the many prototypes you can 



g- 




s 


J ti >>■— 1 '-«- € „ ,-*. s*,w«*, 


Go gig 


H in. « w to u u ■«. 


y*^.** 15*^1 - 


l~±J^„ 


a«*0*l**nnntoft-F*ff«iili*4-H»m*ro* 


1 •*»»-- j 




*?».« 




l^itisdibs^iSKwtcCzr 


tuimmn ,™^-i"S*7~ t 


szz, 


-, Sf£C7»i "Zm «■»«" tww » £.*?««* 2Li 






uMmUj lm»i«. 






OmNLUINLP-gnM* 
'""Sl^**'"'™ WHPw 






SSSmu !—•■!—. 






Lh PifiDmli.d rism. P»ii. 




«.,.,. 




• *~ 





If you want to discuss your opinions 
about or seek help with one of the 
Google Labs tools, you can join a 
Google Group. A Google Group is 
available for each of the items 
currently in Google Labs. 



test on the Google Labs page, you will 
also find links to technical papers about 
Google technology. You can read these 
by clicking Here Are Some Papers to- 
ward the bottom of the Google Labs 
page or by visiting labs.google.com/pa 
pers/index.html. You'll find all types of 
scholarly works about how Google 
works. Some examples include "The 
Google File System," "Query-Free 
News Search," "Who Links To Whom: 
Mining Linkage Between Web Sites," 
and "Hierarchically Classifying Docu- 
ments Using Very Few Words." These 
articles are quite in-depth, but if you're 
prepared to dive into the mathematics 
and research involved, some are a fasci- 
nating read. 

Your Two Cents 

Because Google Labs tools are still 
prototypes that are not yet polished 
and ready for actual release, the engi- 
neers may need feedback about their 
tools. You may have noticed a bug in 
one of the Google Labs tools, or you 
may have thought of a way that the 
engineers could improve on one of 
the offerings. 

Each of the listed tools on the 
Google Labs page has a brief descrip- 
tion of the prototype, followed by the 
original date of release, a Give Us 
Feedback link, and a Discuss With 



Others link. Some tools, such as 
Google Compute, require a software 
download and will also include a 
Download Now link. 

As you might expect, you can give 
engineers feedback about their tools by 
clicking the Give Us Feedback link for 
the corresponding Google Labs proto- 
type. This will launch a window to 
compose a new message in your email 
client. The To or Address field will au- 
tomatically contain the email address 
of the appropriate Google engineer. 
You can send any thoughts you may 
have about how the tool works, what 
issues you experienced, what you liked, 
what you didn't like, or how Google 
could improve the tool. 

If you aren't quite ready to share 
your thoughts with the engineers but 
would like to discuss a Google Labs 
tool with other users, click the Discuss 
With Others link. You can browse the 
messages others have posted about the 
Google Labs service. If you want to 
post your own thoughts or questions, 
you will first need to log in. You can do 
this by clicking the Sign In link in the 
upper-left corner of the Google Groups 
page. If this is the first time you've vis- 
ited a particular Google Group, you 
will need to join the group by clicking 
Join. Follow the on-screen instructions 
to create a Google Account. You will 
need to type your current, non- Google 
email address and select a password. 
For more information about using 
Google Groups, see "Get The Mes- 
sage?" on page 73. 

Put On Your Lab Coat 

Google Labs offers many unique 
and interesting tools. Many of them 
will eventually move to become fully 
supported Google features. There is 
no need to wait to try out the latest 
experiments at Google. With a visit to 
Google Labs, you can take advantage 
of advanced search tools that haven't 
yet made their official debut. H 

by Kylee Dickey 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 21 



All About Google 



Privacy Please 

Google's Privacy Policy Serves & Protects 




In 2004 the Federal Trade Com- 
mission reportedly received more 
than 635,000 complaints of iden- 
tity theft and consumer fraud. 
Monetary losses in these claims sur- 
passed $547 million. With that in 
mind, it's important to know exactly 
how Google will use the information 
you submit when using the site's fea- 
tures and what Google is doing to en- 
sure your information stays private. 
That's where Google's privacy policy 
comes in. To view the policy, click the 
About Google link at www.google.com 
and then click the Privacy Policy link at 
the bottom of the About Google page. 

Collect Data 

Google classifies the data it collects 
from its users into two categories: per- 
sonally identifying information and 
nonpersonally identifying information. 
The former is data that can identify you 
individually, such as your name, ad- 
dress, or email address, while the latter 
is data that does not identify you, such 
as your browser type, browser language, 
the IP (Internet Protocol) address used 
for a query, or the date and time you 
submitted a query. 

Online tools such as Google Search, 
Google Toolbar, and Google News 



don't require any personally identifying 
information, but that doesn't mean 
they aren't collecting nonpersonally 
identifying information. Google keeps 
tabs on what sorts of search queries 
users are making at its site; the compa- 
ny's analysts then look for patterns in 
the queries to see if there are ways to 
improve its search offering. 

Google typically asks for personally 
identifying information when you 
create a new account for one of its fea- 
tures. For instance, if you get an invite 
to create a Gmail account and go to set 
one up, Google asks for your name and 
ZIP code. Also, when you create an ac- 
count for Google's Blogger tool, the site 
prompts you to enter your email ad- 
dress. The good news is that anytime 
Google asks you for personally identi- 
fying information, the site always tells 
you how your info will be used. 

Information Sharing 

Google devotes a section of its pri- 
vacy policy to the conditions under 
which the company would share cer- 
tain personally identifying or non- 
personally identifying information you 
submit. First of all, it is Google's policy 
never to rent or sell any personally 



itGougle 




You can view Google's privacy policy by 
clicking the link found at the bottom of 
the About Google Web page. 



identifying information with other 
companies unless Google has your 
consent. The only other times Google 
will share your personal information is 
if the company uses a trusted third- 
party to process the information on its 
behalf; if law requires the company to 
do so; or if Google has reason to think 
that sharing your information is neces- 
sary to protect the rights, property, or 
safety of Google, its users, or the public. 



~ 



Q Create an account 



^.p_.tfT.«. Dl«Wl*>lMK*4 a »f 



Some of Google's tools (such as Blogger, 
for example) require you to enter 
personally identifying information 
when creating a user account. 

The third-party businesses that Google 
hires to process your personal informa- 
tion are legally bound by contract to 
abide by Google's privacy policy and 
keep your information confidential. 

As You Like It 

When you first visit Google, the site 
saves a cookie on your computer's hard 
drive. A cookie is a small file that iden- 
tifies your computer and alerts Google 
of your preferences, such as how many 
search results you want per page and 
the language in which these pages 
should be displayed. It also tracks what 
you search for. For instance, if you 
search for "hard drives" one time, the 
next time you type the letter H in the 
search box the term "hard drives" 
should pop up if the AutoComplete 
feature is enabled in your browser. This 
will save you the few extra seconds of 
typing the entire word or phrase. Qjs] 

by Sam Evans 



22 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



How'd They Do 
That? 

Google's Simple Interface Masks A Powerful 
Search Engine 




Thanks to Google's simple inter- 
face and casual, colorful head- 
line font, a person unfamiliar 
with Google might mistake it 
for a wimpy search engine running out 
of a college kid's dorm room. But be- 
cause the search engine boasts such 
phenomenal accuracy and speed, there 



-■•' «]t« 4)<a *«• *lee« *]■*•» •)** 4) — * *!"» 45"** 4 



Google 




aren't many Web searchers who aren't 
familiar with this multibillion dollar 
corporation's Web search tool. (And 
for the record, Google did get its start 
in a dorm.) 

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Goo- 
gle's co-founders, met at Stanford 
University in 1995 and began working 
on the search engine that later became 
Google. The most important part of 
the search engine was the technology 
that allowed them to rank pages. 
Instead of focusing on a large com- 
pany whose employees would deter- 
mine Web site rankings manually, 
Brin and Page developed algorithms 
and software that could rank pages 
automatically. Web crawlers, or pro- 
grams that scour the Web cataloging 
the contents of Web servers, weren't 
unheard of, but Google's page- 
ranking methods were. Instead of fo- 
cusing on the number of times a 
keyword appeared on a Web page (or 
other such factors which Web admin- 
istrators could manipulate), Google's 
PageRank technology focused such 
factors as the number and importance 
of pages that linked to the page in 
question. (Of course, it also uses page 
content technology to supplement its 
new method.) We'll show you what 
makes Google tick. 



m- Se.? 



PageRank Q T ^ ms b | oded |R || £J g 0pfong 



Wondering whether you're visiting a 
page that has a high Google PageRank? 
You can check at a glance if you have 
installed the Google Toolbar. 



Behind The Scenes 

Googlebot is Google's Web crawler; 
it's also the software that keeps Goo- 
gle's database up-to-date. Also known 



as a spider or a bot, the software races 
through the billions of Web pages that 
make up the WWW (World Wide 
Web) and returns copies of the docu- 
ments to Google. In addition to 
making an initial survey of each page, 
Googlebot returns to sites from time to 
time to get updated page information. 
Google relies on a number of charac- 
teristics, including the site's impor- 
tance, when determining how often to 
send spiders out to sites. 

Google creates an index based on 
the words it finds (and the PageRank 
rating; more on this later) among 
these pages and then stores the pages 
themselves on different servers. 
Thanks to this setup (and, most likely, 
thanks to other tweaks or technologies 
that Google hasn't made public), 
Google's search engine provides an- 
swers extremely fast. After all, when a 
query sails into the index servers, the 
index software doesn't need to retrieve 
the pages from out on the 'Net. 

Instead, it turns to this well- 
organized database and then calls up 
the stored pages. 



Google Schmoogle 



Not everyone craves the high rank- 
ings that drive traffic to their 
Web sites. Some Web site administra- 
tors don't want the general public 
poking around their sites, while others 
simply want to keep certain, sensitive 
Web pages off Google's radar screen. 
If you're trying to camouflage some or 
all of your Web pages, you'll need to 
add a Robots.txt document to your 
server, which instructs Web crawlers 
to ignore the page or site. You can 
configure the Robots.txt file to wave 
off only Google crawlers or all other 
engine crawlers. You can find Google's 
detailed instructions for removing 
your site from its index by clicking 
About Google on the main page and 
then clicking Webmaster Info, 
Removals. If you have additional ques- 
tions about Robots.text files, check 
out www.robotstxt.org. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 23 



All About Google 



Don't worry: When you click a 
search result's link, you'll visit the 
true Web site, not a page stored on 
Google's servers. Google uses its 
stored pages only to create the search 
results page, which displays 10 (by de- 
fault) search results. Each search re- 
sult includes portions of the sentences 
that feature your search term, a link 
to the page that has your search term, 
and other information, including the 
page's size and, in some cases, the 
date it was created. Google generally 
finds search results and provides the 
main search results page in less than 
0.2 seconds. 

Google takes speed seriously. And it 
should: An increasing number of 
Americans are adopting broadband 
Internet access, but many other resi- 
dents in and out of the United States 
continue to rely on slower dial-up con- 
nections. So Google keeps an eye out 
for opportunities to deliver search 



Google Goggles 



I 



Google 



■ft to hue <d rtxmtd <* •» fuu 



t~>r^— 



l ap* I 



i *»4 tugH iu:H n vhm ■ mg» u Hi 
Ow t«outnlly ■ ftQt iMngK 



tn^b l.ri I* Wh M >t~- \f\t 



e ^ coogfe - stafeaiffli ' I«4&ua - ftaafilEX 



Submit your site map to Google to 
make sure the company's crawler covers 
every page in your Web site. If you don't 
have a site map, you can create it with 
Google's free Sitemap Generator. 

pages faster than it already does. One of 
these tricks is called prefetching. If you 
use a browser that supports prefetching 
(such as Firefox or Mozilla, both of 
which are available free at www.mozilla 
.org), you'll find that whenever you 



You won't increase your page's Google PageRank much by simply spraying po- 
tential keywords all over the place. But, according to Google, you can have an 
impact by making your pages "Google-friendly." Here's a few ideas Google's 
Webmaster Guidelines section and Help Center provide: 

1. One of the most important PageRank factors is the number of sites (that have 
high PageRanks) that link to yours. Make your online content worth linking to. 

2. Add a site map (a single-page, hyperlinked index of the pages within your site). 
You can also add your site map to Google's index via Google Sitemaps 
(www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/stats). 

3. Don't use shady tactics. In particular, don't hide tons of keywords on your Web 
page. If you're putting text in your page's code but not letting that text appear 
on the page, you're heading in the wrong direction. 

4. Make sure that Google is aware of your site. You can ensure that crawlers scan 
your new site by submitting it to Google via its Submit Your Site page 
(www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl). 



click the first unsponsored link on the 
search results page (the search result 
that Google deems to be the best match 
to your query), it loads faster than 
other pages, including the search result 
just below it. 

That's prefetching at work: Google 
plugs some HTML (Hypertext Markup 
Language; the programming language 
used to construct most Web pages) 
code into its search results page that 
commands the page to download the 
top search result's page to your com- 
puter right away. As a result, the page is 
already on its way to you while you 
browse the list of search results. If (and 
when, Google's betting), you click the 
top search result, your computer will 
display it almost instantly instead of 
downloading it a few kilobits at a time. 

Climbing To The Top Of The List 

Google doesn't reveal all of its cards 
when it explains how Google's search 
engine determines a Web site's rela- 
tionship to your query, but it makes 
no bones about PageRank's backlink 
identifier playing a huge role in the 
process. When Google's PageRank 
analyzes a page, it counts the page's 
backlinks, which are links from other 
Web pages to the page that PageRank 



is analyzing. PageRank considers each 
backlink to be a vote for the Web site 
it's analyzing, but not all votes are 
created equal, of course. Pages that 
have high numbers of votes create 
more valuable votes than less impor- 
tant Web pages. 

Backlinks are only part of the equa- 
tion, however. Google uses a cus- 
tomized version of the text-scanning 
process that many other search en- 
gines use (checking to make sure the 
search term is actually on the page). 
According to Google, its Hypertext- 
Matching Analysis tool considers a 
variety of Web page features when 
scanning for text. (For example, it 
notes a word's location on the page 
and also pays attention to fonts.) The 
higher your page's PageRank, the 
more likely it will appear near the top 
of a searcher's search result list. 

Google's PageRank assigns a rank 
to each result on a 10-point scale (10 
being a very important search result). 
If you want to know how PageRank 
numbers your search results, you can 
check them out by downloading and 
installing Google's Toolbar, which in- 
tegrates with your Web browser and 
generally sits near the browser's ad- 
dress bar. The PageRank feature isn't 
visible by default, but you can enable 



24 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



All About Google 



it easily. Click the Toolbar's Google 
button and then click Options. When 
the Toolbar Options window appears, 
click the Options tab and then select 
the PageRank Display checkbox 
under Page Information. When you 
click the OK button, PageRank will 
appear on the Toolbar. Hold the 
cursor over the PageRank icon to see 
the page's exact rank. 

Not all Web search services use a 
fully automated ranking system. 
Many services, such as MSN, mix 



Web crawlers with manual site list- 
ings. But many users rely on Google's 
automatic, adaptable system. 

The Search Never Ends 

Although Google started with Web 
search and continues to refine its Web 
searching techniques, it's also applying 
its understanding of search technology 
to a host of other uses, such as Google 
Desktop 2, which searches for files on 
your computer's hard drive. Need to 



search Outlook for a particular email? 
If you've had it with Outlook's search 
feature, simply enter your search term 
into the Google query box that in- 
tegrates with Outlook's interface. 
Although the company launches new 
products regularly, almost all of them 
have search features. No matter how 
far Google wanders into the digital 
world, we doubt that it will forget 
its roots. Qjs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



Many traditional search services clog their 
main pages with links to popular Web sites, 
news, stock quotes, sports scores, and horo- 
scopes. Some searchers enjoy these features, but 
many aren't interested in distracting material. 



Google's main page, on the other hand, has far 
more white space than content. But more impor- 
tant than its simple interface is what powers that 
unassuming Google Search button: one of the 
fastest, most accurate search engines on the 'Net. 



j\ Search Results 

The reasonably clutter-free search results 

page lists the top 10 results, as well as a few 

sponsored results. Don't worry about 

,^^^^ mistaking a sponsored link for a 

genuine search result, however. 

^^^m Google separates sponsored results 

^m from general search results. 




1 Web surfer 



Document Servers 



■,, _ 

from the index's information to 
create the search results page that 
you'll see. The servers add a small portion 
of text (which contains your search term) to each search 
result before passing the finished product along. 



* 



31 Google Index 



Google's array of index servers 
match your search words to Web pages. 
The servers scan their own presorted index of 
Web pages. The servers update the index periodically via Web 
crawlers that search the 'Net for changed and new pages. The 
index includes more than 8 billion Web pages. 






Different Web 
Surfers bring dif- 
ferent search term 
strategies to the 
table. They also 
bring different lan- 
guages and, in some cases, question- 
able spelling skills. Google's search 
engine must adapt to all of these 
strategies, languages, and quirks to 
find the most relevant Web pages. 



2 1 Search query 

You'll start the 
search by typing a 
search term into the 
query box. Don't un- 
derestimate your 

role in the search: The better you describe 
your query, the more accurate your search re- 
sults. Also, Google will drop some common 
search words when you click the Google 
Search button. If you absolutely must include 
"the" in your search term, use quotes to indi- 
cate its importance ("the power surge"). 




Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 25 



The Search 



Gateway To 
The Web 

How Google Can Help You 
Find What You Need 




Since its 1998 inception, 
Google has grown from a 
Menlo Park garage in 
California to a sprawling 
corporate campus. As the 
company has grown, so have the ser- 
vices and products it offers. Today 
Google lets you scour the Web for 
news and pictures, get driving direc- 
tions, edit digital images, and fly (vir- 
tually speaking of course) from the 
Eiffel Tower to the Pyramids in about 
five seconds. 

Whatever growth and success the 
company has, however, it owes to its 
Web search. Even today, despite all of 
its products and services, if you're vis- 
iting Google it's probably because 
you're looking for something on the 
Web. It's only appropriate then to 
look at Google's search feature before 
we start talking about all the extras 
the company offers. We'll cover all 
the basics you need to know to effec- 
tively use Google, and we'll offer 
some general tips that'll make 
searching the Web more efficient. 



The Interface 

Compared to Yahoo!, Google's 
home page is Spartan. The company's 
colorful logo is the only graphic on the 
front page. By default, www.google 
.com takes you to Google's Web 
search. Directly below the Google 
logo, however, are links to the compa- 
ny's other search services: Images, 
Groups, News, Froogle, and Local. 
You can also bring up links to addi- 
tional services by clicking the More 
link. We cover all these options in 
later articles, but we're going to stick 
to searching the Web here. 

To begin a search using 
Google, just enter relevant 
search terms in the text field 



and click the Google Search button or 
press ENTER. Google displays a list of 
results it deems relevant to your 
search with the most relevant pages 
listed first. Alternatively, you can click 
the I'm Feeling Lucky button to skip 
the results and load the most relevant 
Web page (or, to be more accurate, 
what Google thinks is the most rele- 
vant Web page). 

Results 

Depending on your search terms, 
you may only have a handful of re- 
sults or you may receive millions of 
returns. In the upper-right corner of 
the results page, you'll see a rough es- 
timate of total results for any search 
string. If we're looking for informa- 
tion about the (possibly) upcoming 
fourth Indiana Jones film, we might 
search for Indiana Jones 4. Doing so 
returned 3,770,000 results when we 
tried this search. Before you break out 
in a cold sweat wondering how you're 
ever going to visit all 3,770,000 pages, 
remember that terms are sorted by 
relevance (in this case, the first result 
was from an entry in the Internet 
Movie Database). Usually by the time 
you make it through the first 20 or so 
results, you'll notice the relevancy 
drop to a point where you feel com- 
fortable ignoring any further results. 
The twentieth result, for instance, is a 
Web page on the Entertainment Zone 
Web site that lists the movie's release 
date as July 1, 2005 which kind of 
makes you wonder how accurate the 
confirmed cast list is. 



When two results come from 

the same site, Google indents 

the less relevant result. If 

additional results from the 

same site are present, you 

can view them by clicking 

the More Results From Link. 



Indiana Jones 

Indiana Jones and the Next Generation of Gaming | [ Indy Arrives on DVD ] [ Indy 

on DVD ]. It's 1935 and this time you must prevent a powerful .„ 

www. indianajones.com/- 29k -Aug 3, 2005- Cached- Similar pages 

Welcome to TheRaider.net 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indiana Jones 4 The Young Indiana Jones 

Chronicles ...Wednesday, August 3, 2005 (Indiana Jones 4) ... 

www.theraider.net/- 83k - Aug 3, 2005 - Cached - Similar pages 

Welcome to TheRaider.net 

FAQ- Frequently asked Questions on Indiana Jones 4 answered. ...Articles 
to Indiana Jones 4 related articles on the Internet ,„ 
www.theraid8r.net/films/indy4/index.php - 52k - Aug 4, 2005 ■ Cached - Similar 

Indiana Jones 4 Greg's Preview- Yahoo! Movies 

Indiana Jones 4: fi nd the latest news, photcs and trailers, as well as local showtime! 

info at Yahoo! Movies. 

movies, yahoo. com/shop?d=rip&cf=prev&id=1 808404509 - 47k - Cached - Similar page 



Indiana Jones 4 

News, cast and crew information, synopsis, movie info, trailers, posters, box office inf< 



26 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 







u., 






SHOPV 




1+' 




a — - c "- 





J - n ■ ■ 



Google saves a copy of 
nearly every page it 
indexes on its own 
servers. If for some 
reason you can't 
access a Web page, you 
can usually load 
Google's cached 
version. Search terms 
are highlighted making 
them easy to find. 



Placement in Google's search re- 
sults is not for sale, but Google does 
sell ads on its results page. Ads on 
Google, however, are a far cry from 
the flashy, distracting ads you find 
elsewhere. Google ads are small, dis- 
creet, and usually relevant to your 
search terms. Ads typically appear far 
to the right of the results, but they can 
appear above the results in a blue box. 
In either case, these links are clearly 
marked as Sponsored Links. All ads 
on Google are text-only ads. There are 
no pictures or (shudder) animated 
graphics to distract you. 

You may also notice additional in- 
formation above the search results. In 
some cases, Google offers tips that it 
thinks may help you with your search. 
In some cases, Google may pass along 
links to relevant news articles or stock 
information when appropriate. 
Searching for a geographical location 
may turn up a link to Google Maps. 

Each individual result consists of 
several parts. Here's a result from our 
previous example: 

Welcome to TheRaider.net 

Interview with Max McCoy: The 
author of the four latest Indiana 
Jones novels. ... Indiana Jones film in 
the making? Monday, August 1, 2005 
(Indiana Jones 4) ... 

www.theraider.net/ - 83k - Aug 2, 
2005 - Cached - Similar pages 

The page title (Welcome to The 
Raider.net) provides a link to the page 
in question while the preview text of- 
fers some indication as to whether or 



not the page may be 
useful. The preview 
text always includes at least one or two 
of the search terms and the words im- 
mediately surrounding them. Beneath 
the preview text is the page URL. While 
this doesn't link back to the page, it can 
be useful in determining whether or 
not a result is relevant. Next to the URL 
is the size of the page and, occasionally, 
the date on which Google last indexed 
it. Usually, the date only appears on 
items that Google indexed within the 
last few days. Finally, the entry ends 
with two links, one to a cached version 
of the page and another to a link that 
lists similar sites that could contain 
more information. 

The Cached link displays a saved 
version of the page from Google's 
servers. Cached pages are especially 
nice when trying to find pockets of 
information on a larger Web page 
(such as trying to find a particular 
term in a large online glossary) be- 
cause each search term appears high- 
lighted. Furthermore, Google's cache 
serves as a nice backup if the real page 
suddenly becomes unavailable or if 
important information suddenly dis- 
appears from the live site. An info box 
appears above the cached version of a 
Web site and includes the date the 
page was last cached, a link to the cur- 
rent page, and a link to a text-only 
version of the page. Cached pages are 
sometimes a day or two old and in 
some cases even older. Frequently up- 
dated sites and more popular sites 
seem to be cached more often. Check 
the date the page was cached in the 



info box if you're looking for the 
most recent information. 

As the name implies, the Similar 
Pages link lists Web sites similar to 
those in the search results. For instance, 
TheRaider.net is an Indiana Jones fan 
site, so clicking Similar Pages will list 
other Indiana Jones fan sites. 

In some instances, you may notice 
indented results. For instance, when 
we search for Disk Defragmenter 
Stalls, the second result appeared in- 
dented because it was from the same 
Web site as the first result. The in- 
dented Web site is the one Google de- 
termines to be less relevant. If there 
are additional entries from the same 
site, you can view them by clicking 
the More Results link that may appear 
beneath the indented entry (as was 
the case with this search). 

Search Quirks 

Now that we know how to view the 
results, we can work on getting better, 
more relevant results. Before we begin 
offering tips, however, it's a good idea 
to take a closer look at the basic work- 
ings of Google's Web search. 

Every search engine has its own 
particular quirks. For instance, Google 
automatically searches for Web sites 
containing all the specified search 
terms. If you search for John York ru- 
ined 49ers (which by the way returned 
4,810 hits indicating the hostility 
many fans feel toward the current 
owner), Google will only return pages 
that include all four terms. If you want 
Google to return pages with any of the 
above terms, use the word OR be- 
tween each term (in all caps). 

Aside from operators such as OR, 
Google is not case sensitive. That 
means smart computing and SMART 
COMPUTING return exactly the 
same results. The order of the search 
terms you use, however, can affect 
your search results. 

It's worth remembering that 
Google automatically excludes com- 
mon words such as "with" and 
"how." You'll notice common words 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 27 



The Search 



Google Directory 



Google makes it easy to find the information you need in 
a timely matter, but what happens when you have time 
to kill online? Searching the Web is like surfing with blinders 
on. You never know what interesting distractions you might 
be missing. 

If you're looking for a little distraction, Web directories are a 
fun way to browse the Web. You've probably never heard of 
the ODP (Open Directory Project), but it bills itself as the 
largest human-edited Web site directory on the Web. The ODP 
employs an army of volunteers to maintain its Web directory, 
so listings are accurate and relevant. 

While you may not have heard of the ODP before, you've 
probably used its directory. The Google Directory 
(www.google.com/dirhp) is nothing more than a copy of 
the ODP. Don't worry though; Google isn't stealing ODP 
content (that would be evil, and we all know how Google 
feels about evil). Rather, Google is one of many Web sites 
that have an agreement with the ODP. 

Given that the ODP is edited by humans, it contains a 
fraction of the sites stored on Google's servers, but the sites 
listed in the ODP are likely to be better quality sites. 
Because of this, you'll notice a few differences in Google 
Directory results compared to Google Web Search. 

The fun of a directory, how- 
ever, comes from exploring rather 
than searching. You can find the 
Google Directory by clicking the 
More link above the search field 
and clicking Directory. The 
Google Directory contains 15 
main categories: Arts, Business, 
Computers, Games, Health, 
Home, Kids And Teens, News, 
Recreation, Reference, Regional, 
Science, Shopping, Society, and 
Sports. In addition, there's a 
World category containing Web 
sites from other countries around 
the world. 

Each main category contains 
several subcategories. Within each 
subcategory, you'll find related 
Web sites along with additional 
subcategories. The structure lets 
you start with a very broad area of 

interest, such as Computers, and focus in on a narrower topic. 
From the Computer category, you can drill down through the 
Software, Operating Systems, Microsoft Windows, and 
Windows XP subcategories to focus on sites relating to 
WinXP. The Windows XP subcategory includes six additional 
subcategories and four related categories along with 25 




The Google Directory includes a search 
engine, but because sites in the directory 
come from the Open Directory Project's 
Web site directory, you'll get somewhat 
different results searching Google Directory 
than you would using Google's Web search. 



WinXP-related Web sites. Each subcategory includes a 
number in parenthesis next to it. This number indicates the 
number of Web sites within that category. 

Google lists sites in the Google Directory according to 
Google's Page Rank (a complicated formula to determine a 
page's relevance). So the ODP may not list sites in the same 
order. Furthermore, Google's Directory is probably a little 
easier to navigate than the ODP, as the Google Directory 
lists categories in strict alphabetical order (not always the 
case with the ODP). 

In some subcategories you'll notice a list of related cate- 
gories. These are categories that have some overlap with the 
current category. They're often fun to explore although 
they're sometimes a bit off-topic. The Windows XP subcate- 
gory lists four related categories that include Windows 2000, 
Windows ME, and Windows NT. 

As you start drilling down within a category, you'll notice 
a new feature in the search engine (which appears at the top 
of each page). You can search within a given category for a 
particular term or terms. Searching for Windows XP in the 
Computers category, for instance, will display all the articles 
in the Windows XP subcategory we explored earlier, along 
with any relevant sites from other subcategories within the 
Computers category. If you de- 
cide you want to search the en- 
tire directory, click the Google 
Directory logo to return to the 
home page. You can also search 
the Web from within a category 
or subcategory by selecting the 
Search The Web option before 
clicking the Search button. 

If you do decide to search the 
directory, you'll notice that results 
are displayed in the same format as 
Google's Web search. Links to 
cached pages and links to similar 
pages are still available when 
searching the directory (although 
they are not available if you're just 
browsing the directory). This is an- 
other benefit of using the Google 
Directory, as the ODP doesn't offer 
these features when displaying its 
search results. 
At press time, the ODP claimed to have 5,104,466 sites in- 
dexed. That may seem like a lot, but remember that a search 
for Indiana Jones 4 returned more than 3.7 million hits on its 
own. Nonetheless, 5 million pages are more than enough to 
keep you busily exploring the Web on those rare occasions 
when you don't have anything in particular to search for. I 



28 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



uiatiMiffiHMTmn-TBBa 

Edit yew Go Bookmarks loots Help 



<*-<» 



rj} ||G| http: /J www, google. con^seafch?M=en3Jr=3oq=rebted:w 



i) Google M Gmail |G| Google Groups |G| Google News /* Slashdot U Smart Computing CI 



Go igle 



Web Images Groups News Froopile Local mc 
Search 



lreletedwwtf.thereJder.net/ 



Web 



Welcome to TheRaider.net 

News, interviews, limeline, biography, games and downloads. 
wvw.theraider.net/ ■ 83k - Aug 3 , 2005 - .;••':- Similar pages 

The Indv Experience.com - The Ultimate Guide to Indiana Jones 

Indiana Jones news, fan art, humor, interviews, and game hi 
www.theiridyexperiencs.cnm/- 12k- Aug 3, 2005- Cachef - Sin 



lndyfan.com 

News, image gallery, forum, video and audio dies, fan fiction and trivia 



Clicking Similar Pages lists 
Web sites similar to a 
particular result. This is a 
handy way to find other 
Web sites you may be 
interested in. 



are not highlighted in the search re- 
sults. If a discarded word is important 
to your search, place a plus (+) imme- 
diately before it. 

In some instances, Google will sug- 
gest alternative search terms. This is 
most often used to correct spelling. If 
you search for Micosoft, for instance, 
Google will ask "Did you mean: 
Microsoft." Click the link to search 
using Google's suggestion. In some 
instances, Google may suggest an al- 
ternative even if all the words are 
spelled correctly. For instance, if you 
search using our John York example 
above, Google will ask if you meant 
John York Gained 49ers rather than 
John York Ruined 49ers. 



Finally, Google's stem- 
ming technology automat- 
ically includes results that 
contain a different form of 
a search term. For in- 
stance, singular forms of a 

word aren't omitted if you search 

using a word's plural form. 

Better Searching 

Now that we know a little about 
how Google's Web search operates, we 
can focus on finding the best possible 
search terms. Obviously, given the 
amount of information on the Web, 
the more precise you can be the better. 
Use multiple terms to narrow your 
search and try to pick unique terms 
relevant to your search string. If you're 
looking for information about a truck, 
don't just search for Dodge. Include 
the make, model, year, and even the 
color, if that's important to you. 



There are a number of basic tricks 
you can use to narrow a search if you 
need to. Placing multiple words in 
quotes tells Google to search for an 
exact phrase. This can be especially 
handy when looking for information 
about a specific error message. You 
can also use the minus sign (-) im- 
mediately proceeding a term to re- 
move any results containing the 
term. For instance, if you're using 
the search string Dodge but aren't 
interested in trucks, search for 
Dodge -Trucks. We'll cover more ad- 
vanced search strategies in "One In A 
Billion" on page 31. 

Know-lt-AII 

As we said earlier, the most impor- 
tant thing Google offers is its search 
feature. As you become more com- 
fortable using Google, you'll realize 
just how much knowledge it puts 
within a few quick clicks. So the next 
time you find yourself wondering 
what string theory is all about, forget 
about hitting the local library. The 
answers are just a search away. H 

by Chad Denton 



Set Your Preferences 



When you visit Google, you have the option of setting 
personal preferences. Because these preferences can 
help you find more relevant information, we recommend 
taking a few minutes to set these options. 

Start by clicking the Preferences link that always appears 
to the right of the search field. Here you can select a language 
from the Interface Language drop-down list box. This option 
affects the Google interface only and doesn't affect search re- 
sults. The next section, Search Language, does affects your re- 
sults. If you select the Search Only For Pages Written In These 
Language(s) option, Google will not display Web pages 
written in a language you haven't selected. 

In the SafeSearch Filtering section, you can set restrictions 
on the types of results Google returns. By default, this option is 
set to Use Moderate Filtering. At this setting, Google removes 
explicit images from Google Images searches, but it will not 
block explicit contents from other types of searches. If you 
want to block all explicit content, set the filter to Use Strict 



Filtering. Of course, if you prefer, you can turn filtering off 
completely by selecting Do Not Filter My Search Results. As 
Google points out, no filter is 100% effective, but its SafeSearch 
Filter can help dramatically reduce explicit content. 

To adjust the number of results displayed per page, se- 
lect 10, 20, 30, 50, or 100 from the drop-down list. 
Increasing the number of results per page, however, may 
slow down the time it takes the page to download if you 
have a dial-up connection. By default, Google displays 10 
results per page. 

Finally, by checking the Open Search Results In A New 
Browser Window checkbox, Web pages will open in a new 
browser window any time you click a result. When you're done 
setting your preferences, click the Save Preferences button. 
Google should confirm that it's saved your preferences. 

Remember that your preferences are stored on a cookie. 
That means if you clean out your cookies or visit Google from 
another computer, your stored preferences will be gone. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 29 



The Search 



Helpful Hints 

Google Suggest Streamlines Your Search Time 




Let's face it; Internet Explorer's 
AutoComplete feature is pretty 
handy. It's much easier to type 
just the first few letters of a 
Web address and pick the page you're 
looking for out of the AutoComplete 
lineup than to type the whole address 
yourself. Google is working on a sim- 
ilar feature for its search engine called 
Google Suggest; you can try it out at 
www.google.com/webhp?complete 
= l&hl=en. In the meantime, here's 
a quick rundown of what Google 
Suggest does and how you can use it to 
harvest a few extra seconds from your 
day as you search. 



.-'■ ■ - 






■«i,,i^™.^, 

«.,..■"•-■ *-<■■* -",■■■*. v.. w.» •> 



| Gnnglr Rnarch j[ Hn r«Hing I ucfcj ] 



.-,.,.,„ :„,,Fv.j.„ 



krGDDBltrourMDmcpoia! 



Real Simple 

As you type your search query into 
the box on Google Suggest, you will 
see a list of 10 results that changes 
with every character you type. This is 
Google's way of trying to guess what 
you're searching for and save you the 
time of writing out the full term. For 
instance, if we wanted to search for 
DVD burners, we would enter the first 
"D." Google uses a set of algorithms to 
produce the top 10 search results that 
start with "D" in hopes that it can cor- 
rectly predict the term you're searching 
for. Then when you enter the "V," 
Suggest runs those algorithms again 
and finds the top 10 search results for 
"DV." As you get more specific, so will 
Google's suggestions. In fact, by the 
time we entered "DVD b" into the 
search field, Google had already listed 
"DVD Burners" as the first suggestion 
for us. All we had to do was click it, and 
Google directed our browser to a typ- 
ical search results page for our query. 

As we mentioned, this Google fea- 
ture is similar to Internet Explorer's 
AutoComplete feature in that it is 
trying to predict what you're going 
to type, but there are also some 
differences. The big one is that 
IE's AutoComplete only 
searches through infor- 
mation you've previ- 
ously typed and that has 
been saved to a cookie 
file on your hard drive. 
Google Suggest, on the 
other hand, will search 
its entire database of 



Google Suggest 
works similarly to the 
AutoComplete feature 
in Internet Explorer. 




As you type your search query, Google 
runs a series of algorithms to determine 
what you're searching for. 



search topics to try and find the one 
you're looking for. 

Safety First 

If this talk about cookies has you 
hungry, we can't help out with that, 
but we might be able to clue you in to 
Google's privacy policy and how it ap- 
plies to Google Suggest. For starters, 
we should point out that similar to 
Google's basic search function, Google 
Suggest does monitor what you're 
searching for. Google Suggest com- 
municates with Google while you type 
your query, allowing Google to keep 
track of such information as what 
you're searching for and which sug- 
gestion you chose. But Google knows 
how to keep a secret; any personally 
identifying information is kept confi- 
dential, and Google Suggest is covered 
under the privacy policy Google offers 
all its users. (For more information, 
see "Privacy Please" page 22.) 

Google Suggest is a quick, easy way 
to streamline your search time. It uses a 
set of algorithms in combination with 
the search information you provide to 
predict what you're searching for, and 
saves you the time of typing the entire 
query. And although some Google tra- 
ditionalists may have a tough time 
tearing themselves away from the 
home page they've come to know and 
love, Google Suggest is sure to help 
those willing to give it a try. H 

by Sam Evans 



30 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



One In A Billion 

Advanced Search Options Help You Find 
What You're Looking For 
















































































































Last we checked, Google's index 
included more than 8 billion 
Web pages. That means no 
matter what you're searching 
for, you're probably going to find 
hundreds if not thousands or millions 
of results using regular keywords. 
Learning to use Google's advanced 
search features can help narrow those 
results and make your search results 
more relevant. 

In the previous article, we explained 
how Google's search engine works and 
provided some basic tips to help you 
find what you're looking for. Now 
that we have the basics out of the way, 
we can show you how to utilize some 
of those more advanced options. 

Advanced Search 

Like most search engines, Google 
relies on numerous operators to con- 
duct advanced searches. An operator 
is a special word or symbol that 
changes the way Google conducts a 
search when used in a specific con- 
text. We'll cover operators later, but 
for now let's start by clicking the 
Advanced Search link that appears to 
the right of the search field on the 
Google home page. 



Instead of using operators, the 
Advanced Search page lets you 
specify certain options. When you 
click the Search button, Google auto- 
matically formulates a search string 
using the proper operators. This page 
is the easiest way use Google's ad- 
vanced options. 

The first four fields on the Ad- 
vanced Search page let you specify 
search terms. The first field is similar to 
the search field on Google's home page. 
Google will return Web sites that in- 
clude all the words entered into this 
field. The second field is more precise 
and lets you search for a specific 
phrase. It's more efficient, for instance, 
to use the second field if you're looking 
for information about the Los Angeles 
Kings NHL hockey team. Searching for 
the phrase Los Angeles Kings in the 
second field returned 867,000 results, 
while searching for Los Angeles Kings 
from the search field on the Google 
home page returned 4,260,000 results. 
(The 32nd result was actually a page 
about the King Tut exhibit's Los 
Angeles stopover.) 

The third field returns results that 
match at least one of the words pro- 
vided. If you're interested in informa- 
tion about either Africa or Europe, for 



instance, you could enter both terms 
in this field. Finally, the fourth field 
lets you specify any terms you want to 
omit. For instance, returning to our 
Los Angeles Kings example, you may 
opt to omit Sacramento and Lakers to 
prevent Google from returning pages 
that refer to both the Los Angeles 
Lakers and Sacramento Kings. 

You can accomplish all of the op- 
tions above from the Google home 
page using operators. Words enclosed 
in quotation marks, for instance, are 
treated as an exact phrase. Thus "Los 
Angeles Kings" returns the same re- 
sults as typing Los Angeles Kings into 
the exact phrase field of the Advanced 
Search page. Placing a minus sign (-) 
directly before a term eliminates any 
results containing that word. For in- 
stance, typing the search phrase Los 
Angeles Kings -Sacramento -Lakers 
will omit any results that reference 
Sacramento or the Lakers. Finally, 
separating words using OR (in all 
caps) returns results that contain 
any of the terms separated by OR. 
Searching for "Africa OR Europe" re- 
turns the same results as entering 
Africa Europe in the third field of the 
Advanced Search page. 

Of course, you can sometimes 
achieve the best results by using a 
combination of fields. For instance, if 
you're planning a vacation and can't 
decide between the Caribbean or 
Rome, you could type Vacation in the 
first search field on the Advanced 
Search page and Caribbean Rome in 
the third field. 

Further Refinement 

Below the various search fields, 
Google provides additional options to 
refine your search. For instance, se- 
lecting a language from the Return 
Pages Written In drop-down menu 
will only return results written in the 
selected language. If you set your 
Preferences (click the Preferences link 
next to the search field on the Google 
home page) to return results in En- 
glish, then English should be selected 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 31 



The Search 



j* 



s .. C&.H . CPU . Google . Google Group; 



: %l':^ [Cogger 



i . Image Input . Slashdot .. Smart Computing , TC 



Go >< 


JlP Advanced Search 


Advanced 




r 






Find results 






1 


with all of the words || 


10 results ~ | Goog 


with the exact phrase | 




with at least one of the words 




without the words 




Language 
File Format 

Occurrences 

Domain 

SafeSearch 


Return pages written in 
Only - return results of the file format 

...... ..... ....... . 

ssults where my terms occur 
| Only ^J re t um results from the site or domain 
•• No filtering Filter using SafeSearch 


uage ^J 




| any format _^j 


| anytime _^J 

■ e in the page _^J 
1 



Page-Specific Search 










Similar Find page? 
Links Find pages ' 


'. 


1 




Search | 


■"■ MY,; ■■:.:.■■.' 
1 


o^elpMml 


~ Search | 



Topic-Specific Searches 



Start - » Inbox -Micro,... j Google Adva... rriateci:bame S ... ■ Linux PC Op S (... -. W8R05 advan... 



rrrfP 



1= • ®v» - El 4 



Google's 
Advanced 
Search page is 
the easiest way 
to use the site's 
advanced 
search features 
to narrow your 
searches. 



by default, but you can select Any 
Language if you prefer. 

Next, you can choose to limit results 
to specific file types or omit certain file 
types. On the File Format line, select 
Only from the drop -down list if you 
want to limit results to a specific file 
type or select Don't to omit results of 
that file type. Available file types in- 
clude Adobe Acrobat PDF, Adobe 
Postscript, Microsoft Word, Microsoft 
Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Rich 
Text Format. 

The next option lets you limit re- 
sults to Web pages updated within a 
specific time frame. By default, this 
option is set to Anytime, but you can 
select Past 3 Months, Past 6 Months, 
or Past Year. This is a handy way to 
eliminate outdated search results that 
would otherwise appear. 

If you need to, you can specify 
where in a Web page search terms 
should appear by selecting an appro- 
priate option on the Occurrences line. 
The default option is Anywhere In The 
Page, but additional options include In 
The Title Of The Page, In The Text Of 
The Page, In the URL Of The Page, 
and In Links To The Page. 

The Domain line can be very handy 
if you need to search for information 
on a specific Web site. For instance, if 
you want to find specifications for 
Intel's Pentium 4 640, you could enter 
specs in the first search field, Pentium 



4 640 in the exact phrase search field, 
and intel.com in the domain field. 
(When you use this option, specify a 
domain name only because not all 
Web pages have a URL that begins 
with www.) You can also use this op- 
tion to omit results from a given do- 
main by selecting Don't in the 
drop -down menu instead of Only. 

Finally, you can enable Google's 
SafeSearch filter. Explicit results 
aren't usually a problem that most 
Google searchers run into, but de- 
pending on your search criteria, they 
can be. SafeSearch helps to eliminate 
explicit content, although as Google 
points out, no filter is 100% effective. 
SafeSearch may be enabled by default 
if you selected Use Strict Filtering in 
your Preferences. 

At the bottom of the page are two 
Web page-specific options. Enter a 
URL in the Similar field and Google 
will return results similar to that spe- 
cific Web site. For instance, if you're 
shopping online at Barnes & Noble and 
want to find other online bookstores, 
you could enter www.barnesandnoble 
.com in the Similar search field. If you 
enter a URL in the Links field, Google 
will return Web sites that link to the 
specified URL. (In this case, if you 
enter www.barnesandnoble.com, you'll 
see a list of Web sites that contain links 
to www.barnesandnoble.com.) Note 
that because these sites are site-specific, 



they don't take into account any search 
criteria provided elsewhere on the 
page, which is why Google uses sepa- 
rate search buttons for these features. 
Also note that you can include any do- 
main prefix such as www. In some in- 
stances, you may receive some different 
results depending on whether or not 
you include the prefix. A Web page 
that links to barnesandnoble.com, for 
instance, may not appear in a search 
for www.barnesandnoble.com. 

Finally, at the bottom of the Ad- 
vanced Search page, you'll find links to 
specialty search engines. We'll cover 
these in more depth later in this issue. 

Advanced Search Strings 

Google's Advanced Search page 
lets you narrow the focus of your 
search without having to worry about 
using specific operators. Nonetheless, 
it's a good idea to become familiar 
with search operators, which let you 
skip the Advanced Search page, pro- 
vide additional features, and, as you'll 
see in a bit, let you enter more accu- 
rate search terms. 

You're already familiar with basic 
operators such as quotation marks, 
"OR," and minus signs. Google some- 
times omits common words (such as 
"and") from a search or, in some 
cases, includes results where a term 
appears in links to the page but not on 
the page itself. The plus sign (+) is one 
way to ensure each result will contain 
a specific word on the page. You can 
use other operators to emulate some 
of the other preferences found on 
Google's Advanced Search page. 

For instance, the "site:" operator lets 
you search a specific domain name. If 
you're looking for specifications about 
Intel's Pentium 4 640, for instance, you 
could enter "Pentium 4 640" specs 
siteiintel.com. Note that there are no 
spaces between the operator and the 
term that immediately follows. This 
operator is identical to the Domain op- 
tion in the Advanced Search page. 

The Advanced Search page lets you 
specify where Google should look for 



32 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



specific results. You can, for instance, 
have Google search for terms in the 
title, the text, the URL, or links to a 
specific Web page. The "intitle:" and 
"inurl:" operators provide a similar 
function. If you can remember the title 
of a Web page but not its URL, the 
"intitle:" operator is extremely helpful. 
The "inurl:" operator is helpful in 
finding Web sites that contain a spe- 
cific term or terms in its URL. 

If you're looking for Engadget 
but can't remember its URL, type 
intitle:engadget to locate the Web site. 
The "intitle:" operator, however, only 
works for a single term. If you needed 
to find the Smart Computing home 
page, for instance, and you tried 
searching for intitle:smart computing, 
Google would return Web pages with 
Smart in the title and Computing any- 
where on the page. This will get you 
where you're going, but the "allintitle:" 
operator provides a more efficient op- 
tion. This option will only return re- 
sults with both "smart" and 
"computing" in the title. The "inurl:" 
operator works in a similar way to the 
"intitle:" operator, only it looks for 
specific terms in URLs. The "allinurl:" 
operator works in the same manner as 
the "allintitle:" operator. 

At the bottom of the Advanced 
Search page are two search fields where 
you can find Web pages similar to a 
specific page or pages that link to a 
specified page. You can also use this 
feature in a standard search using the 
"related:" and "link:" operators. If you 
want to find Web sites similar to barnes 
andnoble.com, you'd type related: 
www.barnesandnoble.com. Typing 
linkwww.barnesandnoble.com returns 
pages that link to the URL. 

In some instances, using operators 
can result in a more exact search 
than you'd get using the Advanced 
Search page. For instance, if you're 
planning a vacation to either Rome 
or New Zealand, you can try en- 
tering vacation in the first field and 
Rome New Zealand in the third field 
of the Advanced Search page. You 
may find some helpful information, 



Searching for 

weather forecasting 

history (top) yields 

759,000 results. 

Using the "allinurl:" 

operator (bottom) 

reduces the number 

of results to just 11. 



©**. 



2 ] a** n™*« f * Co ale - |«nK«i«««t<»]f«>. ' (f: > 



: 1 1 v-tt -ot& -&s-**dtf>ef *t v « | 



5 -fijc«*fltn»v*iwl5iw«h j^-tiusfOvtt £)•*> 



Google 



"*sursl- 10 j< ;:■:.- ft.:). (JIB-:- 



■■V eather ForecasBnp T- 



,.V.',rnrr>ra-.l •,^H.?r.1m! '1k A,in Jfl, aW- , , , 

!.".::■ !ih !. j TIih Weather Urn JHrsiniij:;:! 



Weather Forecast 

SUe « HP Cedi. wAJipsn Cndi erCeuntiy ... 
Obuiwl at Binskok. Ttubnd [Htaooi Hwifon: » ft / tl m .. 

www wundsrgrounij rornAilrnialVsUTiwiB^MSe html - FEi > Aug JO, Ttelfi - ~.v->\ei - G t-Ij- tiwi 
\ Mai» miMt iwii www wundircieund cam | 

■ rncrt Atnanac -The original Farmer's •■.i.n ■■■>: :».-■: 7 









Weather history. [ 3 r A weather r-:cc 'do, weather forecasting! ... 

fit™. 



-t| 3S 







ij'* !■&# wa. « 



i jfttm -d^w*. £\'i«o#.tim V iL 4 



^a* 



Google i 



Weather HI story history " y/e jthei forecisilny 



but this isn't the 
best search be- 
cause it's searching 
for pages that con- 
tain Rome, New, 
or Zealand. En- 
closing New Zea- 
land in quotes in 
the third field does 
not help matters at 
all. Using operators, however, you 
can easily cobble together a more ef- 
ficient query by typing vacation 
Rome OR "New Zealand." 

Advanced Operators 

Although operators occasionally 
provide more flexibility, they don't 
provide all the features found on the 
Advanced Search page. There is no 
operator to limit returns to a specific 
language, for instance, or an operator 
to limit results to recently updated 
Web pages. 

There are operators, however, that 
provide features not found on 
Google's Advanced Search page. For 
instance, you can search numerical 
ranges, include synonyms in a search, 
define a word, get stock quotes, and 
find information about a Web site 
using special operators. 




Pf - Hi- 1 in r' .li- -lilt 11 '■ .illiii>ni:winlliii i..i.-..,v,1iiii| httlr>ry iD.U '.nenndr.) 



5jjppertnenl.il Pi< .nil 

Eft TH E Riyl ETEQP P LO gVM I ?K-PT yi jiD E rpR = 



lil fiasiill . rath»d ■ Similai ihi; 






Numerical ranges are helpful if 
you're looking for products within a 
certain price range, defining a histor- 
ical search to specific years, or 
looking for notebooks within a cer- 
tain weight range. If you're looking 
for historical information about your 
hometown, but you want to narrow 
your search to specific years, separate 
the low-end and high-end of the 
range by two periods (with no 
spaces). For instance, if you're 
looking up historical information 
about Ontario, Calif., and want to 
focus on the years between 1890 and 
1925, you'd type Ontario, California 
1890.. 1925. This search string results 
in 1,010,000 English language pages. 
Omitting the date range increases the 
number of pages to 15,300,000 
English language pages. Our numer- 
ical search included an old brochure 
dating back to 1910 and a Web page 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 33 



from the city's official Web site that 
includes a brief history of the city. 

Sometimes it's possible for a search 
to be too specific. For instance, 
if you're looking for information 
about a new car and you search for 
"car," you receive about 172,000,000 
English language results. Unfort- 
unately, this search omits any Web 
sites that use the term automobile in- 
stead of car. To bring up synonyms 
for car (such as automobile) place a 
tilde (~) directly in front of the word 
car (for instance: "-car"). This search 
expands the number of results to 
373,000,000 English language sites 
and adds a few additional sites to the 
first page of results. 

Google has additional special 
search features that most people 
don't even know about, much less 
use. For instance, you can use 
Google to look up the definition of a 
term. If you stumble across a word 
online and you're not sure what it 
means, visit Google and use the "de- 
fine:" operator followed immedi- 
ately by the term in question. For 
instance, to find a definition for the 
term flash memory, you'd type 
define:flash memory. 

If you know a company's ticker 
symbol, use Google to pull up a com- 
pany's stock information using the 
"stocks:" operator. Type stocks:msft to 
display the latest stock quotes for 
Microsoft. You can list quotes for mul- 
tiple companies by adding additional 
symbols. For instance, stocks:msft intc 
brings up information for both 
Microsoft and Intel. Alternatively, you 
can type one or more ticker symbols 
into the search engine (minus the 
"stocks:" operator) and click Search. 
Click the link at the top of the page to 
view the stock quotes. 

The "info:" operator provides in- 
formation about a specific Web site. 
Typing infoiwww.smartcomputing 
.com for instance, returns a link to 
the Web site, a brief synopsis of 
what you'll find on the site, and the 
Web site's URL. At the bottom of 
the page are links to additional 



information including Google's 
cached version of the page. You can 
also bring up Web sites similar to 
the specified site, Web pages that 
link to the site, Web pages the site 
links to, and Web pages that contain 
the URL of the Web site. 

In some instances, this information 
can be handy for research. Google's 
cache, for instance, can provide you 
with information about a Web site 
when the site is inaccessible. The 
ability to see who links to a certain 
URL can be very helpful if you're run- 
ning a Web site, such as a personal 
blog, and you want to see who, if 
anyone, is linking to your site. 

Finally, you can bring up the 
cached version of a Web site by 
using the "cache:" operator. To view 
Google's cached copy of www.smart- 
computing.com, you'd type cache: 
www.smartcomputing.com. If you 
add additional words after the URL, 
Google will highlight any instances 
of the word or words that appear on 
the cached version. 

Results Matter 

Why bother using Google's ad- 
vanced features at all? To illustrate the 
usefulness of Google's advanced fea- 
tures, we ran a hypothetical test to 
show you how using the proper oper- 
ators can influence your results. 

If we're looking for information 
about the history of weather fore- 
casting, the search phrase "weather 
forecasting history" will turn up 
759,000 results. Many of the early re- 
sults are highly relevant. The very first 
link is a question from a USA Today 
reader looking for links about weather 
forecasting history. Nonetheless, we 
might be able to narrow our search 
considerably by using the "allintitle:" 
or "allinurl:" operators. The search 
query "allintitle: weather forecast his- 
tory" turns up no results, but the query 
"allinurhweather forecast history" re- 
turns 1 1 results, all of which appear 
highly relevant. Our USA Today article 
is still the first link listed. 



If we narrow our focus to concen- 
trate on the use of radar in weather 
forecasting, things change dramatically. 
Adding radar to our "allinurl:" query 
above doesn't yield any results. 
Running a general search for "weather 
forecasting radar history" yields 
1,370,000 results, many of which are 
current local forecasts. Viewing cached 
versions of these pages, we see that the 
word "forecasting" is often found only 
in links to each page. To rectify this 
problem, we can either place a plus 
sign next to "forecasting" or place 
quotes around "weather forecasting." 
The first option reduces the number of 
results to 214,000. Adding quotes re- 
duces the results to just 35,500. Both 
methods, however, have several results 
in common, including the first result, 
an article written for Weather Bureau 
personnel in 1947 introducing them to 
the (at the time) brief history of radar. 

There are other things you can do to 
limit your search. If you want some 
basic background information about a 
subject, for instance, you can search 
online encyclopedias such as MSN 
Encarta or Wikipedia. To search 
Wikipedia, for instance, you can enter 
the search string weather forecasting 
radar history siteien.wikipedia.org. 
This search string provided us with 80 
results including entries for meteo- 
rology and weather forecasting. Many 
of the entries provided good general 
background, but didn't focus a lot on 
the use of radar. Nonetheless, clicking 
the Cached link to view a copy of each 
page with your search terms high- 
lighted lets you narrow in on relevant 
portions of each entry, letting you 
gleam information from several entries. 

Find What You Need 

As you can see, there are reasons for 
the advanced search options Google 
provides. You may not need to pull out 
all the stops when looking for movie 
times online, but it's good to know 
they're there when you need them. Us] 

by Chad Denton 



34 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



Image Search 
Elements 

Google's Not Just For Text Anymore 




The World Wide Web doesn't 
work on words alone, and 
Google's developers knew it, 
which is why a few years ago 
the site began integrating a powerful 
image search component. Now when 
you need an image in a hurry and you 
have no idea where to start looking, 
you can turn to Google and find it in 
just seconds, no matter how obscure 
the subject — because with Image 
Search, you can use keywords to sift 
through more than 1 billion Web- 
based images. 

As with word searches, the Google 
Image Search engine offers a straight- 
forward process for finding online 
images. And that, in a nutshell, is the 
beauty of Google. You don't need to 
be a Web surfing aficionado or pure- 
blooded geek in order to use Image 
Search, and you certainly don't need 
to be a computer expert to value its 
simplicity, either. 

Almost Effortless 

Google's Image Search uses a clean 
and intuitive interface that helps novice 
and advanced computer users alike 



perform searches with ease. To find an 
image using this interface, all you have 
to do is type the name of your search 
subjects, and then click Search Images. 
In a flash, you'll see a page loaded with 
small thumbnail images that lead to the 
Web sites or graphic libraries where the 
images reside. 

Immediately after you perform a 
search, you'll see a blue bar near the 
top of the screen that displays the 
number of results Google located 
using your keywords. You'll also see a 
number that tells you exactly how 
much time the search consumed. Just 
below these numbers, Google lists 
a Show option where 
you can click Large, 
Medium, or Small; 
click a size and Google 
filters your results to 
match certain image 
size dimensions. 



Google displays 20 thumbnail im- 
ages after most image searches. Below 
each thumbnail you'll see information 
related to the image, including the im- 
age's file name, the image size in pixels, 
and the original image's file size. 
Google also lists the image's URL so 
you have an idea of where the picture 
originates. Some of the best parts of 
Image Search's results are what you 
don't see, such as duplicate images, 
icons, advertisements, or buttons that 
might be on the same site as the image. 

If you click a thumbnail, Google 
displays a new page with a split 
screen. The top frame shows the 
image thumbnail, and if you click this 
small image, Google shows you the 
full-size image. The top frame also in- 
cludes a URL that leads directly to the 
original image; in contrast, the larger 
bottom frame displays the Web site 
showing the image in its original con- 
text. If you prefer, you can remove the 
top frame by clicking Remove Frame, 
a command that lets the bottom 
frame fill your screen. If you'd rather 
go back to your Image Search results, 
simply click Image Results. 

The engine's guts. As Google works 
to find and display your results, you 
won't see all of the search engine's 
electronic gears grinding. There's a lot 
going on behind the scenes to make 
Image Search happen. 

Image searches aren't easy to per- 
form because search engines are tradi- 
tionally constructed to work with 
text. Because most images on the Web 
don't have text in them, Image Search 



Google Image Search 

displays your results as 

thumbnail images. 

You can click these 

thumbnails to see larger 

versions of the images. 




Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 35 



The Search 



I 



Co $<■- 



Gougle 

|V.H|>". L 



FMMM 


UlUIUUKtl.t* 




|_twjlt Sui[h | 


™inH It on .i.it ph«i. 






r.ljl« ID — J tf Ih. -=<d. 






MI .I^I1MA<I 






Fll.iypp. 


C*l»t^ ®IJM «**.«. tfa™, 0*rt-»t«Sltm, 


::r\ 









must try to deduce the image's con- 
tents by using other factors. Most of 
those factors are related to text on the 
Web site that stores the original 
image. Image Search uses the site's 
URL, the image file name and folder 
name, page content, page title — none 
of which, of course, necessarily de- 
scribe the image. 

Google's search also looks for 
image ALT tags that a Web site de- 
signer might use during a site's con- 
struction. These tags might provide a 
description of the image for older 
browser versions that can't display 
images, or for browsers with the 
image display option disabled. 

How does Google find and sift 
through all of this data and then re- 
turn your results so quickly? The an- 
swer is that it doesn't — not in real 
time, anyway. Google uses automated 
software that continually downloads 
text from Web sites all over the world, 
and then it stores that text in large-ca- 
pacity index computers. Those index 
computers act just like the index in 
the back of a nonfiction book. 

When you use Image Search, 
you're actually searching the indexed 
data, which is why sometimes you see 
either outdated image information, or 
you find that Google isn't yet listing 
an image that you're sure is online. 
Those problems aside, Google's 
Image Search is so massive that it will 
point you to thousands, even millions 
of images related to your keywords, a 
fact that makes this tool very handy 
during your online adventures. 



The Advanced Image 
Search options are easy 
to use and will help you 
quickly filter out many 
irrelevant results. 



Basic inquiries. But 

what exactly makes a 
basic keyword search ef- 
fective? With Google, 
the answer is easy. The 
greater number of effec- 
tive keywords you pro- 
vide in the search text box, the better. 
It takes practice to figure out what 
makes for effective keywords, but ba- 
sically, the more precise and unique 
the words are, the more likely your 
results will be accurate. For example, 
using "cat" as a keyword will return 
millions of very varied images. Type 
"calico kitten," however, and you'll 
see a results list that's much more fo- 
cused. Notice that we didn't include 
words such as "the" or "this" because 
Google throws out ultra-generic 
words, anyway. 

Sophisticated Searches 

When basic keyword searches wind 
up providing you with too many un- 
related results, you can use the ad- 
vanced search capabilities within 
Image Search. These tools will help 
you refine and hone your searches so 
that Google will know what you're 
looking for. 

Using the advanced Image Search 
features, you can spec- 
ify image size, file type, 
coloration, domain, 
and you can apply a 



SafeSearch filter that will sort out 
adult material. With one or more of 
these tools, you'll quickly be able to 
change your search parameters and 
find the images you really want. 

For example, let's say you want to 
find a range of full-color images of 
the Hilton hotel located in Paris. 
Using a basic keyword search, such as 
"Paris Hilton," you'll get mostly mod- 
eling snapshots of the yellow-haired 
socialite, some of which might not be 
appropriate for younger viewers. 

But using advanced options, we 
cleaned up this search in a hurry. In 
the Related To All Of The Words text 
box, we typed "hilton," and in the 
Related To The Exact Phrase text box 
we entered "Paris France." Because 
we wanted only color images, from 
the Coloration drop-down menu, we 
selected Full Color. And to prevent 
the possibility of any explicit mate- 
rial, we also clicked the Use Strict 
Filtering option. 

This search was much more ac- 
curate, as Google returned dozens 
of images and maps of the Hilton 
hotel in Paris. And thanks to the fil- 
tering option, no adult-oriented im- 
ages appeared. 

You should keep in mind that the 
SafeSearch filter in Google Image 
Search is powerful but imperfect. 
There are three SafeSearch settings: 
No Filtering, Use Moderate Filtering, 
and Use Strict Filtering. 

If you select No Filtering, Google 
won't censor results at all. If you 
choose Use Moderate Filtering, 



After you click a 

thumbnail, Google 

displays a screen with 

the thumbnail on top 

and the main image 

below. You can tell 

Google to remove the 

top frame at any time. 




36 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 









' € . 




1 ■ 


* 


'— » 










-e* 




Google will omit most explicit images 
from your list of results. This is the 
default setting for Image Search. The 
Use Strict Filtering option should re- 
move all explicit images from your 
image search results, and it will apply 
SafeSearch filtering to your ordinary 
Google Web searches, too. 

Like all filtering services, SafeSearch 
makes mistakes. That means poten- 
tially offensive images might appear in 
your list of results even when you're 
using the Moderate or Strict settings. 
You should also know that SafeSearch 
filters out explicit material only if 
you're executing searches in English. 
So if, for example, you run a few 
searches in Spanish, SafeSearch won't 
filter your results at all. 

Engaging other options. The other 
advanced search options are useful, 
too. For example, if you want to re- 
strict your results to images of a spe- 
cific size, you can use the Size 
drop-down menu and select Small, 
Medium, or Large, which means that, 
respectively, you'll see results of 150 x 
150 pixels or smaller, images with di- 
mensions between 150 x 150 pixels 
and 500 x 500 pixels, or images bigger 
than 500 x 500 pixels. 

The Size option is one of Image 
Search's most valuable capabilities, be- 
cause without it, Google will list im- 
ages of all sizes in your results. If 
you're looking for a high-quality image 
you can print at home, you'll want to 
sort out the smaller images, many of 
which contain far too little data to let 
you create a clear print. And if you just 



Google offers three levels of 
image filtering to prevent 
explicit images from popping 
up onto your screen. The 
filter works only for English 
language searches. 



want a small- or medium- 
sized image for email pur- 
poses, this filter helps you 
weed out large images you'd 
need to resize. 

In addition to the Size op- 
tion, you can use the File 
Type drop-down menu to sort by JPEG 
(Joint Photographic Experts Group), 
GIF (graphics interchange format), and 
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file 
formats. This option is useful when 
you know the image you're looking for 
is in a specific format, or when you 
want to download an image and you 
only want one file type. 

The Domain filter lets you limit 
Image Search results to one Web site or 
domain. For instance, you could search 
only domains such as .edu or .com, or 
you could search only CNN.com for a 
specific news image. This option is es- 
pecially useful when your searches turn 
up too many unrelated images from all 
over the Web, or when you know for 
sure that an image is located on a spe- 
cific Web site or domain. 

Breakin' the law. In addition to the 
possibility that Google will lead you 
to explicit material no matter what 
SafeSearch option you engage, Image 
Search might also point you to other 
potentially problematic graphics. 
Because Google's robotic image in- 
dexing scheme is so effective, it often 
links to images protected by 
copyright. That's no crime on 



Google's part, because all Google 
does is let you view these images on 
the Web. 

But it means you should take pre- 
cautions if you plan to download and 
use an image for your own purposes. 
If you see an image that you find 
useful, you can follow the thumbnail 
back to the Web site that's storing the 
image to see if there are any indica- 
tions that the image is copyrighted. 

If you don't see any notice of copy- 
right, don't assume that it's OK for 
you to download the image and in- 
corporate it into a product brochure 
you're designing. Not only is this 
kind of behavior rude and insensitive 
to the person who created the image, 
but you might also be using an image 
that doesn't have a clearly marked 
copyright notice. 

The only way to be sure you're not 
violating copyright laws when you 
use an image from the Web is to con- 
tact the site's owner and ask for per- 
mission. Once you have a go-ahead 
from the image's creator, you won't 
have to worry about being on shaky 
legal ground. 

At The End Of The Day 

When the Web was in its infancy, 
finding multiple images on one subject 
often took a lot of investigative work. 
In the era of Google's Image Search, 
finding a specific graphic or image is as 
easy as typing a few keywords. With 
just a little practice you'll be able to 
find the exact images you're looking 
for with minimal frustration. Qjs] 

by Nathan Chandler 



Someone took the time to 

create the images you see 

on Image Search, and that 

means those images could be 

protected by copyright. Don't 

reproduce the images you find 

with Google until you obtain 

the creator's permission. 



Google 



^Hfclii 




KEMfi 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 37 



The Search 



Read All About It 

Google Offers Personalized News 




Cone are the days when we 
had to wait for the evening 
news to learn what happened 
in the world. Today, thou- 
sands of news sites post new articles on 
the Web throughout the day, providing 
us with the most current news. Many 
people have a series of sites they check 
to get the latest news related to their ca- 
reers and personal interests. Google 
News (news.google.com) gives users a 
unique glance into current events and 
offers several ways to receive the news. 
Google News is still in beta release, so 
keep in mind that some of the features 
we cover may change between press 
time and the time you read this. 

Newsworthy Notes 

Google News scans approximately 
4,500 news sites for articles posted 
within the past 30 days. According to 
Google, it searches for new stories 



every 15 minutes to provide the most 
recent headlines. 

In theory, journalism should be ob- 
jective and communicate only the 
facts without reflecting a viewpoint. 
However, authors make decisions 
about which facts to include or em- 
phasize, and news editors decide 
which stories to publish, as well as 
which receive the most prominent 
placement in their publications. This 
often results in articles presenting 
slightly different perspectives, even 
if the content itself is objective. 
Furthermore, our view of events is in- 
fluenced by where we live. For ex- 
ample, CNN.com (www.cnn.com) 
often places a different emphasis on 
events in Iraq than England's BBC 
News (news.bbc.co.uk) does. 

Google News can help you get a 
more balanced account of the day's 
events. There are two reasons for the 
relative objectivity of Google News. 



The first is the use of computer-based 
algorithms to determine which stories 
receive headlines. The second is the 
inclusion of articles from various 
sources for each news event. 

As opposed to traditional online 
news sources, which rely on editors to 
decide which stories deserve coverage, 
Google News does not have any news 
editors. Instead, it takes advantage of 
computer algorithms to calculate 
which news stories are most relevant 
and deserve top coverage. Because no 
actual person selects the stories that 
Google News will list, the algorithms 
remove much of the subjectivity of 
news selection. 

Google News' algorithms take sev- 
eral factors into account. First, it 
makes use of clustering algorithms 
that try to determine which articles 
are about the same topics. You can 
see how this works on the Google 
News page. Under Top Stories you 
will see that each story has a main 
headline and brief excerpt. There are 
also links to two other stories about 
the same event, links to other publica- 
tions' accounts of the event, and a 
link to a list of all related stories. The 
text in these articles is not identical, 
so Google had to use a clustering al- 
gorithm to analyze the articles' words 
and determine which are related. 

Google News also uses an algo- 
rithm to rank the newsworthiness of 
topics. It does this by analyzing the 
number of news sites that cover the 
story, the placement of that story on 
those sites, the number of hits the 
stories receive, and the ranking of 
the sites which run the story. Stories 
with the highest scores from the al- 
gorithm receive the highest place- 
ment in the list of headlines on 
Google News. 

Because Google News groups re- 
lated stories together, you can 
choose to read more than one ac- 
count of an event for a more bal- 
anced view of the news. You can also 
use Google News to see how news 
coverage varies across the world or 
how the nature of a story has 



38 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



." •■ ■:' ':': ::' 



^Back - g jx] £| ' Search ^Favorites ?^ Goqgk ^ 



|G Search - ^ New! ,Sp 1209 blocked : 



:■■.■■.. ■ ■ : ■. ■ ■ ■■ '. 



J^ 



VjOl)QlC Advanced News Search 



Find results 










with all of the words 


| Sort by relevance ^ 


1 


' ; : / ' : 






with the exact phrase |"They Might Be Giants 
with at least one of the words 


1 
1 






without the words 


1 






Newssoiuce 

Location 

Occurrences 

Date 


1; :q::;-'-. "■':':-■; j.-.';:!i:;;; ?V::t :;-.-:• ii-s-v; ; •■■■ ■ air ■>» >•;■;■.: -'it;;: 
s located in 
Return results where my terms occur 








Enterprise 

e.g. CNN, New ycrft Times 




~ 1 


1 




u 


A country or a U. S. state 






\ anywhere in the article 


- 


nd|25 v|^g~^ 




O Return articles published | anytime 

© Return articles published between |2 v Aug 



■ -*^ 



evolved over time. To read coverage 
of current events from around the 
world, click the News link under the 
Google logo on Google's home page 
(www.google.com). Then use the 
Top Stories drop-down menu under 
the Google News banner to select 
one of the 22 available international 
editions (such as U.S., U.K., or 
Australia). Click the Go button. The 
top Google News headlines for that 
country's edition will appear. 

You can also see how a story has 
evolved over time. To do this click the 
All (Number) Related link beneath an 
article's headline and excerpt. Then 
click Sort By Date in the upper-right 
corner of the screen. For instance, we 
sorted stories about a tropical storm 
by date. We could see that early arti- 
cles merely mentioned the growing 
storm in the Atlantic Ocean. As we 
followed the articles through time, we 
could see how the coverage became 
more urgent as the storm gathered 
force and headed for land. We could 
see not only that the knowledge about 
the tropical storm increased but also 
that the type of coverage it received 
changed as the storm intensified. 

Sort By Date is also useful if you 
want to see how the news stories 



about a politician or current event 
have evolved. You can often see how 
sentiment changes toward a given 
person or topic over time. Although 
some Google News users will never 
see a need to read multiple accounts 
of the same story or sort articles by 
date, these Google News tools are 
very useful for people who strive for 
the most balanced account of cur- 
rent events. 

News Clues 

Just as Google's Web Search has an 
Advanced Web Search option, Google 
News has an Advanced News Search. 
This tool lets you create a set of con- 
ditions, also known as operators, for 
your search. For instance, you might 
limit the period of time in which an 
article was posted, or you might 
choose to include only articles from 
publications based in a certain 
country. You can often find more re- 
liable information by performing an 
Advanced News Search than by using 
a basic Google Web Search because 
Google News only searches news sites 
rather than all Web sites. 

To access these advanced options, 
click the Advanced News Search link 



The Advanced News Search lets you 
narrow your search according to 
criteria such as the news source and 
publication date. 



in the upper-right corner of the 
Google News page. The Find Results 
section has a gray background and 
has the same fields you will find in 
other advanced Google searches. The 
available operators under Find 
Results include With All Of The 
Words, With The Exact Phrase, With 
At Least One Of The Words, and 
Without The Words. 

For instance, if you want to find 
news articles that contain informa- 
tion about both caffeine and dia- 
betes, you would type caffeine 
diabetes in the With All Of The 
Words field. Google News would 
search for articles that contain both 
words, although they may not neces- 
sarily appear side by side in the text. 
If you want them to appear together, 
use the With The Exact Phrase field 
instead of the With All Of The 
Words field. 

There are also search operators 
specific to Google News. These in- 
clude News Source, Location, Occur- 
rences, and Date. You can use the 
News Source operator to find an ar- 
ticle that appeared on a specific news 
site. To do this type the name of a 
news site, such as USA Today, in the 
Return Only Articles From The News 
Source Named field. Google News 
will then limit its search results to 
those that appeared in that publica- 
tion. Similarly, you can perform a 
Location search by typing the name 
of a country or state in the Return 
Only Articles From News Sources 
Located In field. 

The Return Results Where My 
Terms Occur drop-down menu lets 
you select where in the article your 
search terms appear. You can choose 
from Anywhere In The Article, In 
The Headline Of The Article, In The 
Body Of The Article, or In The URL 
Of The Article. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 39 



The Search 



Finally, you can search by Date. 
First, select either the Return 
Articles Published or Return Articles 
Published Between radio button. 
If you choose Return Articles 
Published, you will select how re- 
cent the articles must have been 
published (Anytime, Last Hour, Last 
Day, Past Week, or Past Month). 
If you choose Return Articles 
Published Between, you will use 
drop-down menus to select a range 
of dates from which the articles 
may have been published. Because 
Google News only covers recent sto- 
ries, you can only search for articles 
published within the past 60 days. 

On Alert 

Google News also offers a tool 
called Google Alerts, which can no- 
tify you by email when it finds new 
articles about topics of interest to 
you. To use this tool, click the News 
Alerts link on the left side of the 
Google News page. You can use the 
Create A Google Alert box to set up a 
new Google Alert, or if you have a 
Google Account, you may wish to 
click the Sign In To Manage Your 
Alerts link, which will let you main- 
tain and manage a set of alerts. If you 
choose to sign in, you will need to 
click a pair of links to read the Terms 
Of Service and Privacy Policy. After 
you read these, click the I Have Read 
And Agree To The Terms Of Use 
Start Using Google Alerts button. 
Then follow the instructions on- 
screen to log in. 

If you choose not to sign into a 
Google Account, type the words for 
which you want to search in the 
Search Terms field. By default, your 
Google Alerts will include only 
searches of Google News. However, 
you can also choose Web, News & 
Web, or Groups from the Type 



You can use Google Alerts if you want 

email notifications when Google finds 

articles of interest to you. 



drop-down menu. Next, use the 
How Often drop-down menu to in- 
dicate whether Google News should 
check for new articles Once A Day, 
As It Happens, or Once A Week. 
Finally, type your email address in 
the Your Email field and click Create 
Alert. Click the Google Alerts link to 
return to the Google Alerts page. 

Before you receive any Google 
Alerts, you will need to follow the 
instructions Google sent to you in a 
confirmation message. When you 
receive this message from Google 
Alerts (googlealerts-noreply@google 
.com), click the first link to confirm 
that you want to receive Google 
Alerts. Click the second link if you 
want to cancel the Google Alerts re- 
quest. When you click the confirma- 
tion link, the Google Alerts Manage 
Your Alerts page will load automati- 
cally. You can create additional 
Google Alerts by typing words or 
phrases in the Search Terms field, 
selecting a search type from the Type 
drop-down menu, choosing a search 
frequency from the How Often 
drop-down menu, and clicking the 
Create Alert button. 

You will also see a list of all the 
Google Alerts you've created. Click a 
hyperlinked item from the Search 



■ ■ i " ' .■■:'. :■:: ■ '■ ' ■:.- 



Terms column to perform a quick 
search of all the articles published 
about that topic in the past 30 days. If 
you want to change any of the search 
criteria for one of your Google Alerts, 
click the corresponding Edit link. 
Type new words in the Search Terms 
field or select new criteria from the 
Type or How Often drop-down 
menus. When you are finished, click 
the Save button. If you want to re- 
move one of your Google Alerts, click 
the Delete link. To eliminate the 
Google Alert, click the OK button in 
the resulting dialog box. By default, 
Google Alerts sends HTML (Hyper- 
text Markup Language) -based mes- 
sages to your email address. If you 
would like to receive basic, text- only 
messages, click the Switch To Text 
Emails link in the upper- right corner 
of the page. 

Be Your Own News Editor 

One of the most useful tools 
Google News offers is a customized 
news page. You can automatically 
receive the headlines most impor- 
tant to you. Imagine receiving a 
newspaper with not only sections 
such as World, Sports, and Enter- 
tainment but also Biking, Italian 



File Edit View Favorites Tools Help 

^Back - g £] ^| J Search 'A' Favorites #< 



Google - Fsleep research" 



|] |G| Search - i^ New! §\ 1209 blocked > 



v i |£j Go Lin ^ 



VjOOSH€ Manage your Alerts 
Alerts O 



I I I 



Alerts* 
Create a Google Alert 



Sending HTML emails E 



Your Google Alerts 



Search terms 

"sleep research" 



Type 

|i 3 
Ni :: 



How often 

as it happens 
once a day 



I 
I 



. <■.: Alt rts and 

©2005 Google 



40 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Greyhounds, and Environmental 
Engineering. Perhaps you'd have an 
entire section of the paper devoted 
to your favorite musician. With 
Google News you can create a news 
page that delivers the stories that 
matter most to you. 

If you haven't used Google News' 
customization options before, you 
will see the Standard News version of 
the page. Click the Customized News 
link in the upper-right corner of the 
page to create your own personal 
news page. Then click Edit This 
Customized Page. In the Edit This 
Customized Page box, you will see 
the each of the news sections, such as 
World, U.S., and Sci/Tech, in the 
order in which they will appear on 
your personalized Google News page. 
To change the content of any of these 
sections, click the linked title of the 
section. To remove the section, select 
the Delete Section checkbox and 
click Save Changes. 

If you would rather make changes 
to the section, select an edition, such 
as U.S., U.K., or Canada English, 
from the Edition drop-down menu. 
If you would like to change which 
news section appears in that portion 
of your personalized page, choose a 
different news category from the 
Section drop-down menu. Finally, 
use the Stories drop-down menu to 
choose how many headlines Google 
News should list for the category. 
When you are finished, click the Save 
Changes button. 

If you want to add one of Google's 
standard sections (World, U.S., 
Business, Sci/Tech, Sports, Enter- 
tainment, Health, or Top Stories), 
click Add A Standard Section. Once 
again, select an Edition, Section, and 
the number of Stories that Google 
News should display in the results. 
Then click Add Section. 

What is potentially more useful 
than Google News' standard sections, 
though, is its custom sections. You 
can actually create your own custom 
sections of your news page that will 
summarize the most recent news 



about topics of your choosing. To get 
started click Add A Custom Section. 
Type any words for which Google 
News should search in the Keywords 
field. For example, if you wanted your 
personal page to have a section with 
news stories about arthritis, you 
would type arthritis in the Keywords 
field. Use the Stories drop-down 
menu to choose how many headlines 
Google News should list for this new, 
custom category. Click Add Section 
when you are done. 

Finally, you can click and drag sec- 
tions to change the order in which 
they appear. When you are done cus- 
tomizing your news page, click the 
Save Layout button. Then click Close 
in the upper- right corner of the Edit 
This Customized Page box. 

Get Your Feed Of The News 

Finally, one of the latest changes 
to Google News is the addition of 
News Feeds. To use this feature, you 
will need separate software called a 
feed reader, or you will need a Web 
site that supports RSS (Really Simple 
Syndication) or Atom feeds. RSS and 
Atom are both technologies that let 
you choose the publications for 
which you would like to read head- 
lines on a regular basis. Your feed 
reader will automatically deliver 
those headlines, short summaries, 
and links to the news articles. 
Instructions for using these feed 
readers will vary, so you'll need to 
follow the documentation for the 
program or service you use. At some 
point you will need to enter the URL 
for the feed. To do this, right-click 
the RSS or Atom link on the left side 
of the Google News page. (Check 
your feed reader's documentation to 
find out which standards the reader 
accepts.) Then click Copy Shortcut. 



Then right-click the appropriate field 
in your feed reader and click Paste. 

By using feeds you can receive 
Google News headlines in the same 
place that you receive all your other 
news headlines and feeds. In fact, you 
could even receive Google News head- 
lines through another online news site 
that supports feeds. For example, you 
could configure My Yahoo! (my 
.yahoo.com) to serve Google News 
headlines on your My Yahoo! page. 

There are a couple of downsides to 
using feeds rather than visiting the 
Google News page. First, whereas the 
Google News page displays the top 
headlines for each news event, the 
Google News feed will deliver only 
one top headline for each event. 
Second, feeds are not available for 
non-English editions of Google News. 
This limits feeds to editions such as 
U.S., U.K., Australia, and other 
English-based editions. 

The News That's Best For You 

The great benefits of many of 
Google's online tools are often that 
they give you a lot of control over the 
type of information the search engine 
retrieves. Google News follows this 
trend, letting you choose the news 
categories that most interest you. 
With Google News you can create a 
single news source that serves you ar- 
ticles from a variety of sources about 
the topics you really care about. S 

by Kylee Dickey 



In the Edit This Customized Page box, 

you can rearrange the sections of your 

Google News page and add unique 

news categories. 



Drag to rearrange page. Click to edit. 

Top Stories 


JMoie TonStoiies | [world 




|u.S. \ |sci.Tech 




[Health | |sleeD research 




| Business | |vollevball 




Mmwets | | Arrested Develop... | 


A<l<l ,i st.ind.n <l section Add .1 custom section 


( Save layout ] 



Show headlines only | Reset page to default 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 41 



The Search 



It's Not Cheap, 
IfsFi 



i 



Your One-Stop Online Shop For 
Finding The Best Deals 




Sure, your spouse may have 
blushed when you tried to talk 
that Girl Scout down a buck or 
two on those Thin Mints, and 
the kids were a little embarrassed when 
you asked the cashier at McDonald's if 
that was as low as he could go on those 
Happy Meals, but let's face it, money 
doesn't grow on trees. 

If you believe frugal is an adjective 
that accurately describes you (though 
your family might call you downright 
cheap), Google's beta price compar- 
ison program, Froogle, has your name 
written all over it. It uses Google's 
search technology to locate numerous 
online stores that sell the item you 
want to buy. You can then compare 
the stores' prices to get the best deal. 

First Impressions 

You may notice that the Froogle 
home page (www.froogle.com) is sim- 
ilar to its sister sites, but not exactly the 



same. While it displays the typical 
Google Search box, it also proudly 
posts the definition of the term 
"Froogle" right beneath the search sec- 
tion, as well as listing 25 of the most re- 
cent items searched for on Froogle. Just 
to the right of the Search button, you'll 
notice tiny links to Advanced Froogle 
Search, Preferences, and Froogle Help. 
The seemingly obligatory links to 
Froogle's sister sites (Google Web, 
Images, Groups, and News) line the 
top of the search box. 

Basic Search 



Froogle not only looks much 
like the main Google Web site, it 



Froogle's home page proudly 

displays the definition of the 

term "froogle" along with some 

recently found items. Anyone 

need a pond pump? 



also employs the familiar Google 
search technology. Google's spider- 
esque software crawls the Internet, 
making note of Web sites that sell 
products. When you run a search, 
Froogle checks these sites for the 
product you want. If a site has what 
you want, Froogle will include it, 
along with other pertinent product 
and distributor information, in your 
search results. Much like Google's 
Web search, a Froogle search will dis- 
play your results based on relevance 
to the search terms you've entered. 

To perform a basic search from 
Froogle's home page, type the item 
you're looking for in the search box 
and click Search Froogle or simply 
press ENTER. For example, say we 
wanted to search for a new keyboard: 
We'd simply type keyboard in the 
search box and click Search Froogle. 
Of course, if you happen see the 
product you wanted to search for in 
the Recently Found Items section, just 
click it, and you'll be taken directly to 
the search results for that item. 

Advanced Search 

If the basic Froogle search just isn't 
doing it for you, you can try the ad- 
vanced search. To get there, click the 
Advanced Froogle Search link just to 
the right of the Search Froogle button. 

You'll first notice that there are 
four boxes in which you can enter 
search terms instead of just the one 
on the basic search option. If you 
enter your terms in the first box, 
Froogle will include products whose 
descriptions contain those words in 




42 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



Q W ■ , 3 (ft ft; j M 






-J 



Froogle 



Storn ft Grauj. b j il.Ht O St*» U pMrfti 

SiflSmck ^Nuiltuij OFilif 111*7 SSSUsi 



any part of the product description. 
The box below that is the Exact 
Phrase section. Use this if you want 
your results to include only products 
that have the exact phrase you're 
searching for in their product descrip- 
tions. The next option you have is to 
perform a search that includes all 
products that have at least one of the 
words you're searching for in their 
descriptions. You can use the final 
box to narrow your results by en- 
tering words that you don't want to 
see in your search. For instance, if 
you're looking for a PCI Express 
video card and don't want to waste 
your time sifting through comparably 
priced AGP (Accelerated Graphics 
Port) video cards, you may want to 
enter PCI Express in the exact phrase 
box and then enter AGP in the 
Without These Words field. 

Just to the right of the All Words 
search box you'll notice a couple 
more search options in the form of 
drop-down menus. The first adjust- 
ment you can make is the number of 
results you want to view per page. 
Froogle will show as few as 10 or as 
many as 100 results per page. 

To the right of the results menu, 
you have another drop-down menu 
that lets you choose how you want to 
view your results. You can sort by the 
best match to your search query, from 
the lowest price to the highest price, 
or vice versa. 

In theory, the next adjustment you 
can control is the price range you're 
looking for. However, we couldn't get 
this feature to work on our test 



The Advanced Froogle Search 
offers a number of options 
that let you manipulate 
variables. You can, for 
example, control the number 
of results shown on each page 
and the format in which 
Froogle displays your results. 



searches. We'd input values 
for the lowest and highest 
prices, but when we clicked 
Search Froogle, our search wouldn't 
yield any results. While this feature 
will no doubt be helpful when it is 
working properly, don't put too 
much stock in it right now. 

The next thing you can adjust is 
the Occurrences feature. This drop- 
down menu lets you choose which 
products to include in your results 
based on where your search query 
appears in the product description. 
You can choose to view results that 
have your query only in the title of 
the product, only in the description 
of the product, or in either the title 
or the description of the product 
you're looking for. 

Another useful tool right below 
the Occurrences drop-down menu is 
the Category drop-down. Froogle 
groups the online businesses it 
searches into various categories. You 
can use this menu to choose which 
group of enterprises you want to 
search based on the type of product 
you're looking for. Say you want a 
new mouse for your computer, and 
not some food for your pet boa con- 
strictor. You can select the 
Computers category from 
the list, and you will now 
search only the computer 
and computer parts sellers 
for the term "mouse," and 
not every seller in Froogle. 



Finally, there is a group of three 
options that each have a pair of 
radio buttons you can use to cus- 
tomize the display of your results 
page. The first option lets you 
choose whether you want your re- 
sults grouped by stores or if you 
want to show all the products. When 
we had the setting on Group By 
Store, a search for "optical mouse" 
returned 58,500 matches from 32 
different stores. We switched the set- 
ting to Show All Products and ran 
the same search. This yielded 59,700 
results, though it was only from 18 
stores. As you can see, this didn't ap- 
pear to drastically change our search 
results, but it is one more thing you 
can play around with when you're 
searching for the perfect widget. 

The next setting is View. Use it to 
choose whether you want to look at a 
page in List View, which will give you 
the most information, or as a grid, 
which will shorten the page by giving 
the bare-bones information, such as 
price and the number of locations, and 
omit the less relevant information, 
such as product descriptions. (You can 
still see the product description in Grid 
View; just click the product you want 
to learn more about.) 

As you can see, there is a lot to 
soak up in the List View. If you 
don't necessarily need all the infor- 
mation that displays in List View or 
if your scrolling finger is a bit out of 
shape, you might find the Grid View 
a little easier to manage. The Froogle 
search remains the same; changing 
views in no way affects the number 



The List View gives you 

tons of information and 

reviews on the product 

you're seeking and the 

online stores that sell it. 




Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 43 



The Search 







4 Gw*t 
■trultt* 



■ S»lrt B.lk, vptti 4lhS,«rh U.nng Ic ±1 j»j t(nh ,..<jli (■ . . 



. 



or quality of the results you get; it 
just displays the results a little differ- 
ently. Instead of giving each result 
its own line in the middle of the 
page, the grid view now fits three 
products where one fit in the list 
view. This view doesn't suggest any 
online stores to buy from like the list 
view, nor does it contain the part of 
the description that includes your 
search terms, but you still get the av- 
erage product rank and access to the 
reviews written about the product, 
not to mention the link that will take 
you to the page containing the links 
of all the online suppliers and the 
prices at which they have your 
product listed. 

The final option you can manipu- 
late is SafeSearch. If you're searching 
for something in the presence of little 
ones, it's a very good idea to enable 
SafeSearch. This screens Web sites that 
Froogle searches for inappropriate 
content and deletes all references to 
sites that contain sexually explicit con- 
tent. If you go into your Google prefer- 
ences, you can choose how strictly you 
want SafeSearch to filter. SafeSearch's 
Strict Filtering setting automatically 
filters out both explicit text and im- 
ages. Moderate Filtering is the default 
behavior; it filters out only explicit im- 
ages. Naturally, No Filtering turns 
SafeSearch off completely. 

How To Interpret Your Results 

After you run a search with 
Froogle, you'll be greeted with many 



SafeSearch is a handy way to 
filter out inappropriate Web 
sites from your search results. 



products answering your 
query. Each of these items 
comes with quite a bit of 
information. Let's analyze 
the data you receive from a 
typical result in List View. 
Proceeding from top to 
bottom, the first thing you 
notice is a link that displays 
the make and model of a product. 
During our optical mouse search, 
the first product we saw was the 
Logitech MX510. If you click the 
link, it takes you to the product's 
page on the Web site of the store di- 
rectly below it. For instance, at the 
time of print, the MX510 was selling 
for $49.87 at Office Depot. When we 
clicked the main link, we were taken 
to the MX510 page on the Office 
Depot Web site. 

Just under the link you'll see the 
price and the seller. Next to the 
name of the seller is a ranking. 
Froogle uses a to 5 scale that 
buyers can use to rank the online 
store from which they purchased the 
product. In this instance, Office 
Depot currently scored a 3.7 out of a 
possible 5 points. When you click 
the rating, you can view customer 
reviews of the store. These reviews 
are written by customers who have 
used the Office Depot online store 
through various Web sites, including 
Shopzilla.com, ResellerRatings.com, 
and NexTag.com. While 
this page only lists a few of 
the customer reviews, it 
does offer links enabling 
you to read all 425,000 re- 



views of Office Depot on 



Froogle lets you view 

thousands of ratings of 

various online stores 

from other Internet 

shopping Web sites. 



Fro gie 



Shopzilla.com or the 97 reviews 
found on ResellerRatings. 

Next to the store rating is an Add 
To List link. If you have a Google ac- 
count and click this link, the product 
automatically gets added to your 
Shopping List. Your Shopping List is 
simply a list you can set up to mon- 
itor products. If you don't have the 
green to spend right now, this is a 
great way to keep an eye on a poten- 
tial purchase. Other cool Shopping 
List features include the ability to 
make notes about products you're 
monitoring and the ability to sort the 
products in your Shopping List by the 
highest to lowest price, lowest to 
highest price, the date the items were 
moved to your Shopping List, or in 
alphabetical order by product title. 

On your results page, there is a 
column on the left that offers a few 
simple tools to sort your search re- 
sults. Think of this as an advanced 
Froogle search that is slightly wa- 
tered down. Although you can't se- 
lect the number of results you view 
on a page or the level of filtering you 
would like, there are a number of 
options you can take advantage of. 
The first of these lets you switch be- 
tween the Grid View and List View 
with a single click. The next adjust- 
ment lets you choose the criteria by 
which you can sort your results. As 
with the advanced search, you can 
choose between sorting your results 
by price or by relevance to your 
search query. While the advanced 
search had a section that would 
allow you to set a low and a high 






OfbcHMomt 



Qlflta Depot- 3.7 ouloTS 




44 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



H § B 











.". .■ ;.|i. .,1 M..„- !■ 



HM 2 Mbuut Suing M 1 1 3 
USJw«4*nMou»»tOJ9 
Huj« Bttelim 01 Oprtul Mei 



The guide on the left side 
of the results page lets 
you customize your 
search and your view to 
best suit your needs. 



price between which to search, we 
had trouble getting it to return re- 
sults. In this section of the results 
page, there's a similar price range 
filter, only this filter worked just fine 
for us. You can also choose which 
category and subcategory you want 
to search or the online store you 
want to visit. 

Shopping List & Wish List 

If you're into dropping not-so- 
subtle hints for birthday gifts, then 
you'll love the My Wish List feature 
of Froogle's Shopping List. When 
you view a product in your Shopping 
List, you'll see an In Wish List 
checkbox in the lower-left corner. 
When you check that box, the item 
not only stays in your Shopping List, 
but also goes to your Wish List. The 
Wish List is similar to your Shopping 
List, but has its own URL that you 
can give to your friends or family, so 
they have access to gift ideas for 



Froogle 






upcoming holidays or spe- 
cial occasions. 

Right below the line that 
lists the price, seller, and 
the link to add the product 
to your Shopping List is a 
brief blurb from the seller's Web site 
that contains your search term in 
bold. You can View the 
entire product descrip- 
tion by clicking the link 
at the top of each 
product listing. Beneath 
this description you'll 
see a link to other no- 
table sellers and the 
prices they are charging 
for the product. If these 
suppliers have been 
ranked using Froogle's 
to 5 scale, those rank- 
ings will also be dis- 
played. If there are other 
suppliers that carry the 
product, those will be included in a 
link at the very bottom of the 
product description. This is a 
generic-looking link that will say 
something such as, "Compare 18 
items priced from $19.95 to $29.95." 
Of course, the number of items and 
the prices will vary depending on 
what you're looking 
for, but the link tells 
you that Froogle has 
found suppliers in 
addition to the few 



listed that carry the product you're 
looking for. 

Beneath some of the product im- 
ages you'll see product ranking and 
review links. These are very similar 
to the scores and reviews for the 
online stores. For instance, that 
Logitech MX510 optical mouse we 
were looking at earlier has an av- 
erage rating of 4.4 out of 5. This 
score is based on 86 reviews, all of 
which you can read by clicking the 
links located in the reviews page to 
which you are taken when you click 
the product rating. 



.^:_,._ 




Til* I ngnnch Mlfl I : =Yrfnim.w <■ Uy.ti, ,,l M .-.mf ii-.iV ■.- ■, ;. r • . . | , 1 i - 



l3H.;:-'AU>A.,;j jfiraM.ni opfleolMous* 

ll'J.H ■■ •■ 

T*ou.t PAD WW Utlra Mr. Op lie Jl !««■» is ju-jl lb* lhii ' 

t1B.4t - fcl.dramE.DdW.r 

111 a iimi «d turn in JTaija. 




PS3Mw«=r-,- 



I v]ir,-T- ' ■,-■!!■.-• Opjtral MoustVi \|,->r :„-,■,•- 



If you click the product ranking link, 
you can see what other people thought 
of the product you're considering. 



£ My Shopping List 



iiUMlJJUijy.iliMO.CLUnl.' 



!> Uy ShaMbi.] I U 



* 



J35.W Sup*. W.wnhou$n 57 fS 

Bulk.r- hS.VWri.lm DpIi-nlMui!:: HofcSJv ,:vb 3(11... ViP-WrSleai Oplrc. 

Crtmn.iri HI it»im pnnul tflrtl Q1.85 ... I53.W , 



SvjiOi Fiopylu 
FirH) » With UH 



[hnd] 



• >l Mdt4 «n A«g 32, 20» ■ UttaJs 

m m ■ offic* n»f,ni ] i, ,■ <: 

"Thr i DdjtHn l*SlOP*«*0rmtri4* Qwitll M*J« MinS* * mm MX opcical 



/drinii nn Ai, 9 77. 7W, dDltlf 



The Froogle Shopping 
List is an easy way 
to monitor products 
you're interested in, 
even if you're not 
prepared to buy 
right away. 



A Shopper's Paradise 

We would definitely call Froogle a 
bargain shopper's paradise. It's basi- 
cally like shopping hundreds, even 
thousands, of stores from your own 
computer desk. Froogle's advanced 
search options really allow you to get 
specific with your query so that you're 
not sifting through a bunch of irrele- 
vant results, and you can get a great 
balance of product and supplier in- 
formation by adapting the view to suit 
your needs. The bottom line is simple: 
Whether you call yourself cheap, 
thrifty, or economical, you're sure to 
love Froogle. Qjs] 

by Sam Evans 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 45 



The Search 



In The 



Neighborhood 

Google Local Helps You Find Everything From 
Pizza Places To Pet Stores 



Google Local came about in 
March 2004. Sergey Brin, 
co-founder of Google, said 
of the project, "Google's 
goal is to connect searchers with the 
information they need whether it's 
halfway around the world or in their 
neighborhood." Google Local differs 
from Google's normal Web search in 
that while the usual search gives you 
the most relevant search results 
worldwide, Google Local will give 
you the most relevant results from a 
specified area. Though this innova- 
tion can help you now, it is still in the 
beta stages of testing. After all, cross 



referencing every business genre 
using Google's 8 billion-Web-page 
index will take a while. 

Using Google Local 

A wonderful aspect of Google Local 
is its simplicity. From the Google 
home page, click Local located just 
above the search line. Enter what 
you're looking for in the What box 
and then enter your address in the 
Where box. For instance, if we were 
looking for a place to get a haircut 
near our home base at 131 West 
Grand Drive, Lincoln, NE, we'd type 




Barber in the What box and that ad- 
dress in the Where box. If you plan 
on searching from the same location 
for most of your searches, click the 
Remember This Location box. This 
should save the location as a cookie 
on your computer. Every time you go 
to Google Local, your saved location 
should automatically appear in the 
Where box. You can get as specific as 
you want with your location. If you 
enter your street address along with 
your city and state, not only will you 
get all the results you would if you 
were searching your town, but you 
will also have easy access to step-by- 
step directions from your doorstep to 
the business you're looking for. 

Keep It Local 

Right below the search bar of the 
Google Local search results page 
you'll see an orangeish-yellow stripe. 
On the left side of the stripe, it says 
Local in bold, and on the right side, it 
says Search Within and then gives 
you a few different choices ranging 
from 1 mile to 45 miles. This is the 
search radius. Your current selection 
will be in bold. Our current selection 
is 45 miles. If we didn't want to drive 
more than 15 miles one way, we 
could click the 15 mile option just to 
the left of our current 45 mile radius. 
Now the only results that will be dis- 
played are those within 15 miles of 
the search location. 

Along with this, it is important 
to remember that Google Local 
searches in much the same way 
Google Web does. Google Web lists 
search results in terms of relevance, 
and so does Google Local. With that 
in mind, don't be surprised if your 
first search result is 13.4 miles away, 
while your second search result is 
1.7 miles away. Based on your search 
criteria and Google's search formula, 
Google determined the business 13.4 
miles away from you was more rele- 
vant than the place 1.7 miles away, 
so be sure to check all of your results 
carefully if you're looking for the 



The Search 



best combination of usefulness 
and proximity. 

Get Specific 

Immediately below the Search 
Within stripe, you'll notice a blue 
band that has various sponsored 
links and a brief description of 
what these links are. This is sim- 
ilar to the sponsored links you 
would find on other Google 
pages. Right below that you may 
notice a line that says Show 
Only. If you search for a fairly 
general topic, as we did with 
Barbers, oftentimes Google Local 
will allow you to break down the 
category into more specific sub- 
categories using the Show Only 
feature. For our search for 
Barbers, we have the option to 
show only Barbers or show only 
Beauty Salons in our requested 
area. This will remove a lot of the 
irrelevant places and streamline 
your search results to better fit 
your needs. 

Listings 




Google- 



131 Woi1 Grand Dm* Lncoh. NCSOK | SWh J 



i ■ Bwb«r 


MS N 33id SI 


£ ■:■ 1 1) * i 
•I*. J M, 7-9598 
FWfiiaiitrj etrtwitlneam • g mn .. 


320OVB1 

3.4 rri 3E -CififlHDl 




Click the marker to bring up a dialog box 
containing that business' contact information. 










Gousle 



r.f Lncoh, ML w*. S". 



FIR 



Below the Show Only line we 
finally get a peak at our first re- 
sult. The first 10 results are as- 
signed a letter and pinpointed on a 
map to the right of the listings. If you 
have more than 10 results per page, 
you'll notice that those after the 10th 
listing will be represented on the map 
with a black dot on their respective 
red markers. 

Google Local's listing gives the 
name of the establishment and the 
phone number below that. Below the 
phone number, you may notice a line 
that says References. Google Local 
gathers information from numerous 
Web sites and yellow page directories 
among other sources. The Reference 
section will give you a link to all the 
Web sites that cross reference the 
contact information for that business. 
For instance, the first listing in our 
search is The Walter Beauty Salon. 



Google Local's results automatically show a business' 
contact information, as well as links to view 
directions and references of the establishment. 



Google found the location of this es- 
tablishment from two references. The 
first is www.hellolincoln.com, a Web 
site that uses the Yellow Pages from 
Lincoln, NE, to list the address of 
local businesses. 

Google also found the same address 
for The Walter Beauty Salon listed on 
www.skincareus.com, so that site is 
also listed under its references. It's not 
uncommon to spot a business in your 
search results that has no references. 
Don't necessarily discount it just be- 
cause it doesn't have a reference. 
Since this is still a work in progress, 
Google is still listing businesses. 
However, businesses are also allowed 
to enroll themselves in the Google 
Local program. If you see a business 
with no references, it could be that 



the owner listed the business 
himself, and Google hasn't had 
the opportunity to cross refer- 
ence the contact information, in 
which case it would be wise for 
you to double check with your 
local yellow pages. 

Local Maps 

Arguably the coolest feature 
of Google Local is its implemen- 
tation of Google's maps. These 
interactive charts can let you 
zoom in until you're practically 
on the rooftop of the business 
you're looking for. 

You can also easily find direc- 
tions using Google Local. If you 
conducted a search using your 
whole address rather than just 
your city and state, you should 
automatically get directions to 
any business that appears on 
your results list. There are two 
ways you can view these direc- 
tions. One way is to click the 
Directions link that is located 
right under the address. This 
should take you to a screen that 
has just about everything you'll 
need to find that business, such 
as a map with the route high- 
lighted and step-by-step direc- 
tions written out for you. Google also 
gives you the travel distance and ap- 
proximate time it will take you to reach 
your destination along with links to 
print or email the page as needed. 

To view directions another way, 
you can click the appropriate marker 
on the map to the right of the list- 
ings. A dialogue box will pop up 
with the name, phone number, ad- 
dress, and directions to and from the 
business. If you're trying to figure 
out how to get there, click the To 
Here link. Next, enter the address 
you're starting from if it's not al- 
ready in the text box and click Get 
Directions. This should take you to 
the same page as the first process 
and give you the same printing and 
emailing options. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 47 



The Search 






Gom >gk j 



■jess: ] ■■im'i-.h } 



in J_milt-LmM-l£jiJai-«iiJijS> 



3,11 ...;!■' Baiter 
(fl02)4M.5429 


J»Nj)n)Sl 
UmtkuH 
3.1 mi SB 


i • i: <■ '■!.-'.: l-'i:i.-"i- .it Barber 
(4021477.9588 


hotsi 

Umki,r« 
3.4 Mi 56 



The Search Within filter lets you filter out 
results that are too far away. 



».:iNE<««il«i«>CM*lS< 



Goi >gle I 




685; ] 'Mun-.h | 



Sndii.li unlhr. 1 ii" ; ■ TJmi^v ■ IS mint (Smile 



i i-.li _ c i ■'■• B jrber 
(402)434.5429 


Umki,W 


i ■ ,i: <■ '■!.■- i-'il--;- .it Barber 
(4021477.9598 


ncoifsi 

Umki,l« 
3.4 m EC 



The Show Only adjustment lets you get rid of 
businesses that aren't exactly what you're looking for. 



Google vs. Google 

You might be wondering just how 
different Google Local is from a 
normal Google Web search. We de- 
cided to test both and compare our 
results. We filtered our Google Local 
search by showing only barbers 
within 15 miles of our location. This 
only gave us about 110 search re- 
sults, but practically all were barber 
shops and all were within 15 miles of 
our location. 

Our Google Web search was a little 
different. We searched for "Barbers 
Lincoln, NE." This search yielded 
267,000 results. The first Web site 
our search listed wasn't even a barber 
shop, but instead was the Web page 
for the Board of Barber Examin- 
ers. While there are a few names 



and locations of barbers 
sprinkled throughout our 
search result, very few of 
them actually have their 
own Web site. If they do, 
there usually isn't a pro- 
blem finding their phone 
number or address. If 
these shops don't have 
their own Web site, of- 
tentimes it's tough to find 
contact information for 
them from a Web search. 
You usually have to go to 
an online yellow page site 
for more help. 

Although a Google 
Web search can give you 
more search results than 
Google Local, it's impor- 
tant to remember the 
adage that bigger isn't 
better. While the sites 
you're looking for will 
probably be sprinkled 
somewhere in your hun- 
dreds of thousands of 
search results, Google 
Local does a better job of 
giving you the most in- 
formation on the busi- 
nesses that fit your search 
the best. 



Google Local vs. SuperPages.com 

While the functionality of Google 
Local might be more 
helpful than the extra re- 
sults Google Web will turn 
up, it's a little tougher to 
pick a favorite when com- 
paring Google Local to an 
online yellow pages Web 
site such as Super Pages 
(www.superpages.com). 
This site allowed us to 
search locations anywhere 
from 1/2 to 100 miles 
from our address. We 
chose to search within 15 
miles, just as we did for 
Google Local. Super Pages 
only gave us 77 results, 



though it did let us sort these results 
alphabetically or by distance. 

The main downfall on Super Pages 
is that its maps just aren't as cool. And 
that's not to say they won't get the job 
done, because they should be more 
than adequate. But the Google Local 
maps that hybridize satellite imaging 
with street labels are just plain cool. 

It's a little tougher to pick a favorite 
between these two. Google Local has 
the edge in maps, but Super Pages does 
offer a helpful outline of related prod- 
ucts. This is basically an enhanced ver- 
sion of Local's Show Only filter. If you 
want to view barbers, just click barbers; 
however, during your search, Super 
Pages also searches for businesses in re- 
lated categories such as Barber Schools 
and Barbers' Equipment & Supply 
Stores. While you might not need that 
information, Super Pages displays it in a 
tactful way so that it doesn't invade in- 
formation about your primary search. 

Google Local is a wonderful beta 
program that makes finding places 
easy. It has helpful interactive maps 
that let you print or email with just a 
couple clicks. The satellite maps can 
even let you zoom in far enough to 
find the roof of the business you're 
looking for. If you've been using a 
Google Web search or even an online 
yellow page database, you owe it to 
yourself to give Google Local a try. Qjs] 

by Sam Evans 




Google Local is a neat beta program designed to 
help you find locations for practically any business 
or service you can dream up. 



48 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 




gle Answers 



Call On A Professional 
For Your Toughest Questions 



You remember Mr. Know- It- 
All. Maybe you called him 
Mr. Smartypants, but we can 
all remember the kid with all the 
answers. With his right hand seem- 
ingly constantly in the air, Mr. 
Know-It-All dispatched questions 
ranging from "Where is Tim- 
buktu?" to "What is the Second 
Law of Thermodynamics?" without 
breaking a sweat. While you strug- 
gled through your homework, Mr. 
Know- It- All, that walking, talking 
fountain of knowledge, was work- 
ing ahead at a breakneck pace. 

Thanks to Google Answers, you 
can hire Mr. Know-it-all and put 
him to work on your questions. 
Although the search engine itself 
does an admirable job scouring 
the World Wide Web for answers 
to your most perplexing questions, 
technology can only go so far; Google 
is only as effective as the person using 
it. That's not exactly the most com- 
forting feeling when you need to 
know if a particular tidbit of knowl- 
edge is accurate. 

A crack team of "more than 500 
carefully screened Researchers" con- 
stitutes the heart and soul of Google 
Answers. Even though Researchers 
are independent contractors (mean- 
ing they're not on Google's payroll), 
Google takes this service very seri- 
ously and has a number of safeguards 
in place to ensure the answers you re- 
ceive are correct. 

Before you rely on Google An- 
swers as your all-encompassing au- 
thority on the universe's greatest 
mysteries, understand there are 
limits to its power. Although a little 




common sense should deter you 
from asking questions such as "Does 
that cute girl in the third row even 
know I exist?" there are certain types 
of questions Google Answers frowns 
up and may even remove. Avoid 
asking any questions that: 

• May seek private information 
about individuals 

• Request advice about engaging in 
illegal activities 

• Sell or advertise products 

• Refer or relate to adult or lewd 
content 

• Pertain to homework or exam 
questions (earn that degree, son) 

Also, Google requests you send an 
email regarding any specific questions 
about Google or Google Answers to 
answers-support@google.com. Finally, 
don't expect an answer to take the 



place of certain types of professional 
advice, such as queries relating to 
medical, financial, or legal matters. 

Answer Hunters 

Because Google Answers relies on 
flesh- and-blood human rsearchers, 
its fact-finding process is a little 
more involved than something 
such as Ask Jeeves (www.ask.com). 
The Q & A process is essentially a 
simple one. When you post a ques- 
tion, it's fair game to every 
Researcher. When a Researcher ac- 
cepts a question and begins to 
track down the answer, the ques- 
tion is locked for a given amount 
of time, meaning no other 
Researcher can provide an answer. 
Other registered users (people 
who use Google Answers just like 
you) are free to post their own an- 
swers as comments, and if you're 
satisfied with one of these answers, 
you can cancel your question as 
long as it hasn't been locked or an- 
swered (you'll still have to pay a 
50-cent listing fee). 

Although some Researchers 
have expertise in a particular field, 
don't assume a Researcher who 
answers your question about the 
Valley of the Kings is a scholar in 
Egyptian history. Google Answers 
thoroughly screens potential Re- 
searchers with test questions and 
guarantees Researchers are experts at 
locating information from both on- 
line and offline resources. Each 
Researcher should also have top- 
notch communication skills, but 
Google Answers lets Researchers field 
questions about subjects in which 
they possess little or no intimate 
knowledge. Either way, Google 
Answers offers a refund process if 
you're not satisfied with your answer. 
To ensure its service remains first- 
rate, Google Answers regularly evalu- 
ates Researchers and their answers. 
Before they even answer a single ques- 
tion, Researchers undergo a thorough 
screening. Once a candidate becomes a 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 49 



The Search 



©Back * Q 
Address |^) http://answers.gQQgle.conn/an 



bona fide Researcher, Google editors 
can spot-check the Researcher's an- 
swers and return your question to the 
system if they discover a problem with 
the particular answer. Finally, Re- 
searchers who receive enough negative 
feedback or have a certain number of 
questions returned will no longer be al- 
lowed to answer questions as a part of 
Google Answers. 

Riddle Me This 

You have your question in mind 
and decide it's time to call in a pro- 
fessional. First, open a 
Web browser with an 
active Internet con- 
nection and go to an- 
swers, go ogle. com. 
Click Login In Or 
Create A Google Ac- 
count. If you've never 
used Google Answers, 
click Sign Up Now! to 
create a Google ac- 
count (this also gives 
you access to the fol- 
lowing Google ser- 
vices: Google Alerts, 
Gmail, Froogle Shop- 
ping List, Google 
Groups, Personalized 
Search, Google In 
Your Language, and 
Google Web APIs). 
Enter your current 
email address and 
choose a password. In the Word 
Verification section type the charac- 
ters you see in the field provided. 
Click Terms Of Service if you wish to 
read the TOS. Otherwise, click I 
Have Read And Agree To The Terms 
Of Use and then Create My Account 
to proceed. 

Google will send an email to the 
email address you provide to activate 
the account. Click the first link in the 
body of the email to activate your ac- 
count (if you're using a Web-based 
email account, we recommend open- 
ing a separate Web browser). After 
activating your account, select Click 



Here To Continue. Enter a nickname 
(at press time, your Google Answers 
nickname is unchangeable) and select 
the type of email notification you 
want to receive regarding activity with 
your questions. Click the checkbox 
next to I Accept and Create My 
Google Anwers Account. 

Once you create your Google 
Answers account, you're ready to start 
asking questions. On your Google 
Answers account page, click the Ask A 
Question link in the upper- right part 
of the page. Enter a subject for your 
question; this can be very broad, such 




& 



3 a* 



• ... . . ....'..":. '-:...'.''.■, ' '. ... ':,..■.■•■. 



^JSnaglt fcaj 1 



Co ok —be— «a 

Answers l*Jt 



| 



Ask a Question 



My Profile My 



,: ...■.■.. ,■■ . ., :.■ ... .. : 


N 






ste List of Questions 1-3 of 3 






Status 


Subject of Question 




Last Updated (PST) Researcher 


Price 


OPEN 


Famous Astronaut Quotes 


10 Aug 2005 03:33 


$3.00 


NEEDS 
ATTENTION 


Tlie Killeis Biographu Oiiestiou 


00 Aim 2005 15:27 ralnhow-ga 


$15.00 


OPEN 


Baseball's Triple 


09 Aug 2005 15:06 


$5.00 



Think of your account page as home base for all of your Google Answers needs. 



as "Backpacking in Europe." However, 
you'll want to be more specific and 
provide as many details as possible in 
the Question field. For example, if 
you're planning a backpacking vaca- 
tion across Europe and want to know 
how much money to bring for hostels, 
helpful details to include might be the 
cities you'll likely stay in and the 
number of other people accompanying 
you on your trip. 

Next, set a price for your question. 
This is what you will have to pay 
when a Researcher answers your 
question. The Researcher will receive 
75% of the price, and Google rakes in 



25% plus a 50-cent nonrefundable 
listing fee. You can set a price be- 
tween $2 and $200 for your question. 
Setting a higher price will make your 
question more attractive to Re- 
searchers, and it's almost essential if 
you have a very difficult question; a 
Researcher will probably not spend 
five hours digging up information 
about Evel Knievel's favorite motor- 
cycle tires for $3.50. Also, Researchers 
will usually provide more thorough 
answers for more compensation. 
Click How Do I Price My Question? 
for more tips, but the adage "You get 
what you pay for" is a 
good rule of thumb. 

Select a category and, 
if applicable, subcate- 
gory for your question. 
Our backpacking ques- 
tion may include the 
Sports And Recreation 
category and Travel 
subcategory. Next, click 
Continue To Payment 
Information. 

You'll enter your 
credit card information 
on the next page. Goo- 
gle charges your card 
after 30 days or for 
every $25 you spend, 
whichever is sooner. 
After you enter your 
card information, you 
can click Pay Listing 
Fee And Post Question 
to post your question (Google Answers 
will then take you to a confirmation 
page) or Go Back And Edit Question if 
you want to tweak your question. You 
can preview your question at the 
bottom of this page before you post it. 
Once your question posts, it will re- 
main active for one month. 



Elementary, My Dear Watson 

Google Answers will send you an 
email when a Researcher answers 
your question, requests clarification, 
or if a Google Answers user has left a 
comment. You can also check your 



50 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



account profile for this information. 
When you log in, your account page 
should show "Needs Attention" next 
to the question that has been an- 
swered or needs clarification. Click 
the link, and Google Answers should 
indicate if the Researcher has either 
answered your question or requested 
clarification. If the Researcher asks 
you to clarify your question, click the 
Clarify Question button, enter any 
new information the Researcher re- 
quested, and click Post Clarification. 

If a Researcher has answered your 
question and you're pleased with the 
result, click Rate Answer and give the 
Researcher an appropriate rating. 
Click the drop -down box and choose 
a rating between one and five stars. 
Add a comment in the field below, 
and if you're particularly pleased with 
your answer, you can leave a tip 



(between $1 and $100) for your Re- 
searcher. Researchers receive 75% of 
your original amount offered, but 
they receive 100% of the tip you leave. 

You may not be satisfied with your 
answer initially, but instead of immedi- 
ately giving a poor rating or requesting 
a refund, click Request Answer 
Clarification, explain your concerns, 
and click Post Request. If this avenue 
leads to a dead end or you're simply 
not satisfied, you can leave a poor 
rating and request a refund. 

To request a refund, you need your 
Question ID number. On your account 
page, click the question for which you 
want a refund and look at the header. 
The Question ID number is listed 
below the line that indicates when the 
question expires. Next, go to answers 
.google.com/answers/refundrequest. 
Click Repost My Question if you want 



another Researcher to take a stab at 
your question (you won't be charged 
another 50 cents for a listing fee). Click 
Request A Refund if you simply want 
your money back. List the Question ID 
in the appropriate field and state why 
you want a refund. Click Submit 
Request to complete the request. 

And That's Their Final Answer 

As you can see in the "Google An- 
swers Put To The Test" sidebar, Google 
Answers generally provides what it 
promises. And perhaps one of the best 
parts of Google Answers is that many 
Researchers will list the searches they 
used to arrive at their answers. Study 
their methods, and you could be on 
your way to finding answers yourself. H 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



Google Answers Put To The Test 



Just for fun, we thought we would see if this Google service could put its money where its mouth is. We registered for 
our own account and posted three questions for the Google Answers team. To test the Researchers' mettle, we posed 
three types of questions. Without further ado, we introduce: 



The Softball. We wanted our first question to be relatively 
simple yet require a little legwork from a Researcher. In this 
case, we were interested in discovering how fast someone 
could answer our question. 

Question: "When was baseball's Triple Crown invented?" 
We offered: $5 

Result: A Researcher took a stab at this question as a com- 
ment, and we thought it was a reasonable response. Never 
ones to turn down a freebie, we cancelled the question and 
only paid Google's mandatory 50-cent listing fee. 

The Fastball. Realizing many people often take facts gleaned 
from online sources as Gospel, we tried to devise a question 
that might take our researcher outside the imaginary bound- 
aries of the World Wide Web. 

Question: "What high school did The Killers' guitarist (not 
bassist) graduate from?" (One of our in-house illustrators at- 
tended Pella Community High School, the same school as 
the big-haired rocker, Dave Keuning. We have the yearbook 
to prove it.) 
We offered: $15 

Result: Our $15 bounty for this question must have been a 
suitable offer, because it took our Researcher just under 90 
minutes to answer what we thought was a pretty good 



stumper. Not only did the Researcher correctly answer our 
question, our answer contained links for additional informa- 
tion about Keuning and the band itself. 

The Screwball. Sometimes, it's not a Researcher's fault. In this 
instance we feigned confusion over a question we asked and 
hoped a Researcher would recognize the mistake and pro- 
vide the right answer. 

Question: "Did Alan Shepard say any famous words or 
quotes when he became the first man in space?" (It seems 
like a simple a question, and you can find plenty of Alan 
Shepard quotes littered across the Web. But Shepard was 
only the first American in space. Russian cosmonaut Yuri 
Gagarin was the first man in space.) 
We offered: $3 

Result: Zoinks! Within a mere five minutes, a Researcher 
caught on to our tricks, properly identifying Comrade 
Gagarin as the first man in space (but we should add that 
the question did trip up a couple of Researchers). Feeling a 
little guilty, we modified our question in search of a Gagarin 
quote, and we received a couple of Gagarin quotes in a com- 
ment. After a couple of days, a Researcher posted an official 
answer, and we had our Gagarin quotations in hand. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 51 



The Search 



The Ultimate 
Card Catalog 

Google Print Is A Digital Bookshelf 




Although doomsayers fore- 
casted the demise of books 
when personal computers 
first flooded the consumer 
market, the talk never turned into re- 
ality. Real-world bookstores and print 
publishers continue to thrive even as 
other content providers, such as the 
music industry, scramble to prevent 
the Internet and home PCs from 
dragging down offline sales. 

That's not to say that book pub- 
lishers aren't watching the music 
industry's dilemma with concern. 
But books haven't caught on in the 
Internet world as fast as other con- 
tent, in part because the digital book 
format changes the way a person 
reads. Whereas a home user can listen 
to digital music on a portable music 
player (which is fast replacing the 
portable CD player), a digital book 
reader must leave the traditional book 



behind and find a device that has a 
screen — a far cry from a book's easy- 
to-flip pages. 

Although you won't find a ton of 
books floating around the Internet 
ocean, you can search for many of- 
fline books from the comfort of your 
home office, thanks to Google. The 
search engine behemoth, whose mis- 
sion is to "organize the word's in- 
formation," recently jumped from 
its online stronghold and landed 
squarely in the offline world. Thanks 
to Google Print (print.google.com), 
you can search offline books via a 
nearly identical search interface to 
Google's Internet search engine. 

Google Goes Offline 

Google Print lets you search for 
books via the Internet, but it isn't an 
online library. Other Google search 



engines link to content without re- 
stricting the information that appears, 
but if you enter a search term into 
Google Print, you won't find many 
search results that display entire books. 
Google likens its service to a vast on- 
line card catalog: The search engine 
helps users find books that have infor- 
mation about their search topics. Once 
you locate a book via Google Print, 
you'll probably need to buy the book 
or check it out of a library. 

What makes Google Print so useful 
is that you can search a database (that 
draws from a variety of institutions 
and publishers) from a single search 
engine instead of poking around at 
local libraries or visiting multiple 
bookstore Web sites. Another plus is 
that Google Print helps you find 
books you might miss if you searched 
the old-fashioned way: Bookstores 
carry a limited numbers of titles, 
which means you might never see 
books from small-time publishers. 
Because Google doesn't charge book- 
sellers for adding their titles to the 
Google Print index, small presses are 
lining up to participate right along- 
side large publishers. 

Where Google Gets Its Books 

Until Google stopped adding books 
to its index (see the "Copyright 
Trouble" sidebar to read more about 
why the search engine's ambitious 
plans are temporarily on hold), it 
pulled titles from a select group of 
publishers and libraries. The Google 
Print Library Project and the Google 
Publisher feed Google Print's capabil- 
ities. The Print Library's pool isn't ex- 
panding at the moment; Google has 
already selected several libraries, 
including Harvard University and 
Stanford University libraries and The 
New York Public Library. 

The Google Publisher Program reg- 
ularly adds to its stable of publishers. 
Google accepts titles from both small 
and large publishers and adds a Buy 
This Book link to search results. As a 
result, small publishers who can't 



52 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



afford to promote all of their titles 
can finally do so without any real in- 
vestment. Google doesn't charge pub- 
lishers for this service, as it draws 
revenue via advertising. 

Publishers who have already scanned 
their own books to PDF (Portable 
Document Format; Adobe's digital 
document image format, which dis- 
plays documents via the free Adobe 
reader available at www.adobe.com) 
can simply send the PDFs to Google. 
But many publishers don't have the fa- 
cilities to scan books, so Google also ac- 
cepts book shipments from publishers. 
(Google has its own scanning facili- 
ties.) Publishers can also send a list of 
titles to Google, in which case Google 
locates the books at a library and then 
scans them. 

Protect Copyrights 

Although some library books fall 
into public domain (in which case 
Google can scan them without in- 
fringing copyright), publishers own 
the copyrights to their books. Google 
Print can display all of a public 



domain book to a Print searcher, 
which means you can find a book via 
your search term, flip to the first page, 
and then read it from digital cover to 
digital cover. Of course, you'd prob- 
ably rather read the book while sitting 
in a comfortable chair — keep in mind 
that Google targets the search engine 
at visitors who want to find books 
rather than read them online. Thus, 
Google Print delivers only a tiny por- 
tion of the page in which your search 
term appears when it finds entries in 
library books that still maintain copy- 
rights. Publishers, however, must 
loosen up a little when they agree 
to let Google index their books: 
You'll find that most let you view the 
search term's page, as well as a few 
nearby pages. 

Google also prevents users from 
abusing its index by blocking some 
pages of certain books. You can find 
some viewable pages of most books, 
but if you run across a search result 
that blocks access to pages you want 
to see, you may be able to unlock the 
pages by registering for a free Google 
Print account. (If you have a Google 



Gmail email account, you can use it 
in lieu of a Google Print account.) 
Google tracks searches, which means 
that if you log into your Google Print 
account and then search, Google will 
be able to associate your account 
name with your searches. 

Searching, Searching 

You'll find Google Print in Google's 
More, More, More section. (Click 
More on the main page to find this 
area.) If you've searched for Web sites 
via Google's main page, you won't 
have any trouble hunting down books; 
the interfaces are nearly identical. 
Type in your search term, click the 
Search Print button (or press the 
ENTER key on your keyboard), and 
you'll see a list of books. Each listing 
includes a photo of the cover (if avail- 
able), the title, author, year the edition 
was published, number of pages, and a 
short clip containing your search 
term. Not surprisingly, the right side 
of the search page includes Google's 
ubiquitous Sponsored Links column. 
Instead of display adds for books, the 



Copyright Trouble 



Google Print draws its 
books from two pro- 
grams: the Google Print 
Publisher Program and 
the Google Print Library 
Project. The Print 
Publisher Program hasn't 
run into any copyright 
problems as it's an opt-in 
program: Publishers who 
want to add their texts to 
Google Print's searchable 
database simply send 
Google the books (or PDF 
versions of the books) or 
give Google permission to 
retrieve the books from a 
library. Once Google 
scans the text and adds it 
to the database, the 
search engine giant blocks 



certain pages so Google 
Print searchers can't read 
the entire book 

But the Print Library 
Project (which scans both 
public domain books and 
copyrighted books but 
tightly restricts page views 
so that searchers can't 
read much of the text) hit 
a speed bump. Publishers 
complained that Google, 
which scanned books 
from certain libraries, was 
actually scanning some 
books without the pub- 
lishers' permission. Google 
responded by letting pub- 
lishers (and any other 
copyright holders who 
don't want their material 



added to the database) 
opt out of the Print 
Library Project. It also 
stopped scanning copy- 
righted material from li- 
braries — putting much of 
the Print Library Project 
on hold. (Public domain 
books remain fair game.) 
Google pointed out in its 
blog (googleblog.blogspot 
.com) that its use of opt- 
out programs (as op- 
posed to opt-in pro- 
grams) isn't new. For ex- 
ample, Web site adminis- 
trators can opt out of 
Google's index of Web 
sites. Google plans to re- 
sume scanning all library 
materials in November. I 



-■■ *jt- taai «]ou t»Dn. #_«"-* *.frV- «].* 



* <„«*, mtn 4*. 



Google 



TIib Rough Quids tG Internat Radio 




Uut Jup> with camfuteiY 

Sign in to mew run pages In Google Print tg^t 



&3 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 53 



SafeSearch 



If you have children in 
the house or simply 
don't want to accidentally 
view adult content when 
you search for informa- 
tion via Google, you can 
take advantage of 
SafeSearch, Google's ex- 
plicit content-filtering 
tool. As Google's Help 
Center points out, the 
tool might not catch 
every bit of adult-oriented 
material out there, but 
parents will probably be 
glad to have it available. 

SafeSearch is enabled by 
default at the Moderate 



Google 



Global Pr«for*nc#t id 



setting, which doesn't filter 
most text but does filter 
images. To adjust the 
SafeSearch set- 
tings, visit 
Google's 
home page 
and then click 
Preferences. If 
you want 
SafeSearch to 
check for both 
text and im- 
ages, click Use 
Strict Filtering 
and then click 
the Save 
Preferences 



button. SafeSearch applies 
to Google Print, as well as 
other Google searches. I 



|||(«|1G» 


■usuaaa 






rispUy Gijo^e hpo JDd mmcagu m SngHjh " 








If ymi <te i»( fnd ymji ratine larsuaw n She puHnwi atore. you 








hull) G«i|lsfB«lB » ltHW# mi Cw» in Yom Lumiatimi 




5UM.L 




Q3t«ehltr»»*..ill In ». !**«* Ita. nin ' M< 








SMith only tor ragu wrtiiai n thM# [anc|ua9ti;i| 








UA»b4c = :,;,-.„ ■ „:!: ■,--„:, 


Uffcm-,!-, 














Cl Calais D Filtmili \1 Jtpatfiaa 








n ChTttWtSniniHW] nFnmeh n KK»**i 








PI Chiuss (IfrfliOral) HI Owmai 11 Ufciii 


n Sliwmafi 






D ClMliM n Sr«4, n UlhuMAi 








□ Cw* D Hn«w»« D Hmw^ian 








l.i-.-l D Hainan Q PUlKh 








U Uulch U fcalanic U PaUij*ir,n 








Clirfl'a SsleS* arih Hbck. -*b hot. OJ..H, »c4 E H Maud 


cMMh* 






■ppn^|»mpdiiw*» 

O Ui» Mirt Hrninj (FiCw bolh iipteS l*tt afl nfjuil imaqOS 








ft U» rr,:.Hrjtf fkfng (l"il[f< 0Kp4<:« m ag« coly *faut fcthak^ 






'J &i rKUHpr my WKh r«ul1n. 




— ■ 


— 


Goodifa dufaiil (10 lasalvl nwdiKi Ihu fai-liKl icjufii 




™ 


— 


D Op..-.-.™.— ,**. 





columns generally tout products that 
relate (in best- case scenarios) to your 
search term. 

You can learn more about one of 
these search results by clicking the 
book's title. Once you click the link, 
you'll see whatever text Google Print 
is willing to make available, as well 
as Book Pages and Buy This Book 
areas. The links under Buy This 



Book take you directly to the book's 
listings at online retailers. The Book 
Pages section links to copyright info 
and may also link to chapter ex- 
cerpts or an index. The About This 
Book link takes you to a page that 
includes a synopsis, a Reviews sec- 
tion that generally includes one-line 
testimonials, and a Bibliographic 
Information section that includes 



the book's ISBN (International Stan- 
dard Book Number). 

If you can tell by the brief blurb on 
the main search results page that you 
have the right book and wrong page 
(for example, you see a book that 
probably covers the topic in which 
you're interested, but the result's 
blurb isn't in the area of the book that 
interests you), click the faded More 
Results From This Book link under- 
neath the blurb. Google Print then 
lists all instances of your search term 
and the corresponding page numbers. 

Results 

Thanks to Google Print's interface, 
you can easily find books without 
knowing the title or author name 
("What was the name of the book? 
Something Mockingbird?") and dis- 
cover other books that you wouldn't 
have found in your local bookstore. 
Google Print temporarily stopped 
adding certain books to its vast collec- 
tion just before we went to press, due 
to concerns about protecting copy- 
rights (see the "Copyright Trouble" 
sidebar), but Google Print's search 
feature remains available. Qjs] 

by Joshua Gulick 



Copyright Print Account 



Google tries to avoid 
copyright infringement 
in a number of ways, in- 
cluding restricting access to 
certain books. When you 
browse your search results, 
you'll find that some results 
let you view mul- 
tiple pages, while 
others will let you 
view only a small 
portion of the text. 
And in some cases, 
the Google Print 
blocks access to the 
book and demands 
that you sign into a 



free Google Print account. (If 
you have a Gmail email ac- 
count, you can use your user- 
name and password.) 

If you encounter this re- 
striction and want to sign up 
for an account, click the 




Create A Google Account 
link at the bottom of the re- 
striction message and then 
enter an email address and 
password. You'll also need to 
enter a special one-time 
password that appears in the 
window. Finally, read 
the Terms Of Service 
and Google's Privacy 
Policy and then click 
I Have Read And 
Agree To The Terms 
Of Use. Create My 
Account. Next, 
Google will send you 
an email that con- 



tains a link. Click the link to 
verify your account. 

Keep in mind that Google 
tracks your searches once 
you sign into a Google ac- 
count. If you don't want 
Google to associate your 
searches with your username, 
you'll need to log out and 
settle for the search results 
that don't require a Google 
account. Also, you can click 
the View Unrestricted Page 
link to view other pages 
within the book, but these 
pages probably won't include 
your search term. I 



54 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



Are We 
There Yet? 

Google Maps Revolutionizes Online Mapping 



a 





' A IL !NOH 

ks iMO'. /Lic-wvr.. 



y«... 

AR *¥-&£< 



Google revolutionized Web 
search technology, working as 
a trusty guidepost for bewil- 
dered users trying to find their 
way around on the Web. The site's 
massive success meant that it was only 
a matter of time before Google 
branched out with tools to help 
people get around in real life, too. 
Thus, we have Google Maps (maps 
.google.com), a mapping site com- 
plete with many innovative and 
typically Google-esqe touches that 
make it more fun and easier to use 
than many traditional Web-based 
mapping tools. 

Get Lost 

If you've never heard of Google 
Maps before, don't worry, you're 
not the only one who's unfamiliar 
with the territory. You won't find 







any references to Google Maps on 
Google's primary search page, partly 
because (like so many of Google's 
offshoots) this one is still in beta, or 
test, form. Click More, and you'll see 
a long list of extra Google capabili- 
ties, including Google Maps. 

Once you find the Google Maps 
link, you'll be privy to a new world — 
literally — of location information. 
Here, you'll find maps aplenty in- 
cluding detailed information for the 
United States, Canada, Japan, and 
the United Kingdom, as well as satel- 
lite imagery with fewer details for 
other areas of the globe. As with 
other online mapping sites, you can 
zoom out to get a stratosphere-level 
view or zoom in for a plethora of de- 
tails. You can also use Google Maps 
to find specific businesses, complete 
with contact information and ad- 
dresses, and driving directions to 



get you across town or from coast 
to coast. 

Getting started is easy. After you 
load the site in your Web browser, 
you'll see a map of the United States, 
and at the top, three tabs: Maps, 
Local Search, and Directions. Al- 
though Google separates these tabs 
for clarity, they'll usually retrieve the 
same results for given keywords; for 
example, typing "pizza in Chicago" 
on the Maps tab shows the same 
results as a Local Search with the 
same keywords. 

Better control. After you run a few 
basic searches you might think 
Google Maps is just like other map- 
ping sites. But there are plenty of fea- 
tures here you'll find only on Google, 
including maps that are much easier 
to manipulate than with other sites, a 
greater range of detailed search re- 
sults, and perhaps best of all, maps in- 
tegrated with satellite imagery. 

For starters, Google makes map 
searches easy. Many mapping sites are 
completely exasperating because they 
use clunky interfaces — first, you find 
the map you want, and then you zoom 
in to take a closer look. But then you 
want to pan west, and that's when the 
problems begin: Every time you click 
West, the site loads the map all over 
again, so slowly it feels as if you're pan- 
ning in slow motion. 

Google Maps bypassed this method 
and instead introduced so-called 
draggable maps. You don't have to 
click an arrow to see portions of the 
map adjacent to the area you're 
viewing. All you have to do is click the 
map and drag it, pulling it the way 
you'd slide a paper map across a 
tabletop to see areas too far away for 
your eyes. Double-click any area of 
the map to center it. 

You don't even need your mouse to 
scroll through the scene. Use the arrow 
keys to scroll, or to pan even faster, use 
the HOME, END, PAGE UP, and 
PAGE DOWN keys. The plus key (+) 
and minus key (-) come in handy, too, 
letting you zoom in and out faster than 
with the mouse pointer. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 55 



The Search 



Giggle ' 



Co gle ; 



More information. Many 
mapping sites also make 
it difficult to access detailed 
information about area busi- 
nesses or attractions. Google 
Maps, on the other hand, 
simplifies this process by in- 
tegrating place names and 
phone numbers into a list 
that appears on the right side 
of your map. 

For example, if you want 
to find golf courses in New 
Orleans, you would type golf 
courses in New Orleans and 
click Search. The site displays 
a map of the city with lettered 
balloons indicating every golf 
course. Those balloon icons 
also appear on the right side 
of the screen next to the golf 
course names and phone 
numbers. Click the course 
name, and you'll see an ad- 
dress, and if it has one, a Web 
site URL. 

You'll also see links called 
Directions To Here and From 
Here. Click To Here and type 
a start address, and Google 
Maps will list driving direc- 
tions to get to the course. 
Click From Here and type a 
destination, and Google Maps 
will tell you how to get from 
the course to a bar or restau- 
rant where you can relax after 
your round. 

Google plots your route with the 
starting point as a green balloon and 
displays a purple line that connects to 
your red destination balloon icon. 
Click either icon and a smaller win- 
dow pops up, displaying a magnified 
portion of the area in the immediate 
area around your destination or 
starting point. This feature helps you 
more effectively start and end trips 
with tricky directions. 

Myriad maps. In addition to all of 
its helpful directional and business 
information, one of Google Maps' 
most useful and compelling features 
is its variety of maps, which include 







^J~ 



You can click and drag any part of Google Maps to scroll 
through an area. A slider on the left side of the page lets 
you zoom in and out for better views. 



iMw.tiuiM\i\ 1 1 M i iii hi hi in iin ii m 



1 



■rmm, e jt 



OKI 



iC'v *** i \? 



§ 





Google Maps quickly finds businesses in your area. You'll see icons 
denoting business locations, as well as phone numbers and driving 
directions on the right side of the map. 



regular map graphics, satellite im- 
agery, or a combination of both. All 
three versions offer different pros and 
cons for your mapping sessions, and 
to switch between the different map 
styles, just click the buttons named 
Map, Satellite, or Hybrid on the top 
right of your screen. 

Google Maps' regular color graphic 
maps look different than those from 
other mapping sites. Load a map for a 
specific intersection in your town and 
you'll see what we mean. With most 
sites, you'll simply see a tiny section 
of a typical map with hard-to-read 
icons. In contrast, Google displays 



a broad swath of the area and 
highlights main thorough- 
fares in yellow, so you in- 
stantly know which streets 
carry the highest volume 
of traffic. It also clearly de- 
notes one-way streets with 
large arrows. 

If you want to refer to text- 
based directions, all you have 
to do is look to the right side 
of the page, where Google 
displays step -by- step instruc- 
tions for finding your desti- 
nation. Click the numbers to 
the left of each step, and 
Google magnifies the step 
so you can see exactly how 
to navigate your turns. Just 
above these directions you'll 
see a Reverse Directions link, 
which flip-flops the start- 
ing and ending points, and 
at the top of the page you'll 
see one-click links that let 
you magnify the start and 
end addresses. 

Snazzy satellite graphics. 
Most mapping sites already 
offer color maps and text di- 
rections. However, Google 
takes the mapping concept 
further. Click the Satellite 
button, and you'll see a map 
composed of satellite images. 
Instead of squiggly lines 
standing in for city streets and 
highways, you see the roads 
themselves. As you can imagine, 
photos convey a lot of information 
missing from regular maps. Photos 
reveal the lay of the land in hills, trees, 
and other landmarks that you won't 
see with traditional mapping systems. 
Plus, it's just way cool to be able to 
zoom in on your house knowing that 
these pictures were taken from high 
above Earth. 

Detail level varies depending on the 
area you search. In general, you'll find 
more detail in areas with large popu- 
lations. Zoom in on cities, and you 
can get close enough to see individual 
cars. Countryside photographs reveal 



56 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



plenty of detail for planning trips 
or just to satisfy your curiosity. 

Click Hybrid and Google su- 
perimposes many map elements, 
such as streets and street names, 
onto the photos you see. In some 
cases, this layout gives you the 
best of both worlds, helping you 
better visualize the area you're 
viewing, with road names that 
guide your eyes when you have 
trouble identifying certain areas 
on a satellite image. If you're 
looking for landmarks in an area 
that's undergone development in 
the past couple of years, you 
might notice that the photos are 
outdated. That's because Google 
currently uses older photographs 
for some locations; eventually 
Google will update these areas to 
reflect changes. 

Endless Possibilities 

Google Maps is so powerful 
and so easy to use that it provides 
endless productivity and fun for 
Web site developers and Web en- 
thusiasts. Many of these folks 
combine Google Maps with other 
software tools to create so-called 
mashups, which are sometimes 
useful, sometimes just-for-fun 
programs that exploit Google 
Maps' power. Here are a few of 
our favorite mashups. 

Web Sightseeing — No time to 
take a vacation? Go sightseeing 
through your PC. This repository 
(googleglobetrotting.com) of 
Google Maps points you to vir- 
tual destinations all over the 
world. You can check out Rod 
Stewart's mansion, Disney-Land, 
and the San Diego Zoo. Or cruise 
over to Michael Jackson's 
Neverland Ranch, Area 51, the 
White House, the World Trade 
Center site, among thousands 
of others. 

Hot Spots — Clever developers 
combined the Hot Or Not (www 
.hotornot.com) personals site with 



[ 



S- - ■ ; : - * « . 



k ^ 

l. ~ r 






Request driving directions and Google Maps connects 
your start and end points and also provides text-based 
instructions right next to the map. 



i 




So-called "mashups" combine Google Maps with other 
software capabilities. This Cheap Gas mashup helps you 
find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood. 



B»' ' i ! -•■ ■ — e> * 




1&r 




.;;,-- :."-:':"'- 


Welcome to Google 
GlobeTrottincj! 


a a B 


"^ST - 


^-~ " 


lliuwibt 


"<*»*■ 


• tan. 



There are many Google Maps mashups on the Web. 
Google Globetrotting lets you visit famous sites 
from around the globe. 



Google Maps to create Hot Maps 
(hotmaps.frozenbear.com) so you can 
find, roughly, the location of people 



who subscribe to Hot Or Not. If 
you want to get an idea of how 
many subscribers live in a specific 
zip code, you can find them in- 
stantly, complete with a photo 
and a link to help you meet your 
potential date. 

House Hunting — Take an aerial 
tour of homes and apartments in a 
city where you'd like to relocate 
using HousingMaps (www.hous 
ingmaps.com), which combines 
Google Maps with real estate list- 
ings on Craigslist (www.craigslist 
.com). Using HousingMaps, you 
can quickly find housing descrip- 
tions complete with pictures and 
contact information. 

Crime Alerts — Check out the 
Chicago Crime (www. Chicago 
crime.org) site, which uses Goog- 
le Maps to help you see a crime 
map of the city. You can sort 
crime by type (try first-degree 
murder) and then see which part 
of the city has the highest inci- 
dent rates. You can even click 
each crime to see the time and 
date it was reported. 

Cheaper Gas — Tired of wasting 
gas to find the cheapest fuel in 
your city? Take a look at Cheap 
Gas (www.ahding.com/cheap 
gas), a site that combines Gas- 
buddy (www.gasbuddy.com) with 
Google Maps. Pick your city name 
from the drop-down menu, and 
you'll see map complete with cur- 
rent gas prices listed next to 
fuel station names and addresses. 
You can even sort by unleaded 
and diesel. 

Virtual Pedometer — Ever won- 
der exactly how far you're walking 
or running during a workout, and 
how many calories you burned? 
Another developer combined 
Google Maps with some nifty pro- 
gramming to create the Gmaps 
Pedometer (www.sueandpaul.com 
/gmapPedometer) site. Click a few 
waypoints, turn on the calorie counter, 
and feel like you're getting exercise sit- 
ting at your PC. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 57 



The Evils In All Routes 

If you set out for Phoenix and wind up in Anchorage, you might want to reeval- 
uate the driving directions you found on that free online mapping site. Well, 
let's hope no mapping site ever sends you on a goose chase quite this wild, but 
you should be aware that different mapping sites do offer varying opinions on 
the best way to get from point A to point B, and one set of instructions may be 
much more efficient than others. We used three mapping sites — Google Maps, 
Yahoo! Maps, and Mapquest — to see how proposed routes differed. We entered 
a number of different start and end points and found that there's no doubt these 
sites offer very different, and often imperfect, driving advice with significant 
mileage and driving time variations. Thus, it's best to double-check your results 
with a printed atlas. 



Estimated Distance Estimated Drive Time 



Starting point #1 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 



7.7 miles 
6.9 miles 
6.49 miles 



16 minutes 
15 minutes 
15 minutes 






Route #2 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 

Route #3 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 

Route #4 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 

Route #5 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 

Route #6 

Google Maps 
Yahoo! Maps 
Mapquest 



2,906 miles 
2,951 miles 
2,912 miles 



48 hours 

45 hours, 24 minutes 

43 hours 



457 miles 
464 miles 
455 miles 



9 hours 13 minutes 
7 hours 8 minutes 
7 hours 49 minutes 




1,439 miles 

1.447 miles 

1.448 miles 



28 hours 

22 hours 15 minutes 

22 hours 14 minutes 



: aEhJ 



310 miles 

310 miles 

311 miles 



6 hours 12 minutes 
5 hours 39 minutes 
5 hours 33 minutes 



413 miles 

414 miles 
417 miles 



9 hours 1 minute 
6 hours 21 minutes 
6 hours 48 minutes 




Route Details 

#1 - South 70th and Pioneers to North 12th St. and Vine Street (Lincoln, NE) 

#2 - Times Square Hilton to Haight St. and Ashbury St. in San Francisco 

#3 - Oklahoma Sooners football stadium to Nebraska Comhuskers stadium 

#4 - Crawford, TX to Washington, D.C 

#5 - Philadelphia to Boston 

#6 - E 16th St & Pegram St in Charlotte, NC to Bruce St & W 2nd St in Lexington, KY 



It's A Blast — One of the more omi- 
nous mashups we found will let you 
map potential nuclear bomb damage. 
Load the High-Yield Detonation 
Effects Simulator (meyerweb.com 
/eric/tools/gmap/hydesim.html) and 
you can see a blast radius superim- 
posed across any area you choose. 
You can also change the bomb yield 
to see how big a bomb would have to 
be to cause complete devastation in a 
specific metropolitan area. 

Cell Phone Detective — Your cell 
phone consistently loses its signal at 
a specific area in your city, and you 
can never figure out exactly why. 
Now you can locate your provider's 
towers to see if you're simply too far 
away to obtain a strong signal. 
Mobleidea built a cell phone tower 
locator site (www.cellreception.com) 
that lets you find towers and fig- 
ure out which provider uses them. 
You can even click the tower to see 
its exact location and height above 
the ground. 

Orange Barrel Finder — Combine 
two powerhouse tools — Yahoo Traffic 
Map and Google Map — with weath- 
er data, and you get a site (traffic 
.poly9.com) that lets you see weather 
and traffic information in one snap- 
shot. Click the warning icons and you 
can view detailed information on 
traffic delays in your city. 

Final Destination 

Google Maps has a lot of Google- 
ish traits, such as simplicity, fun, 
and innovation, all of which make 
this site very different from other 
online mapping tools. Even though 
the beta version is a little rough 
around the edges, it's still powerful 
enough to help you find business 
information, driving directions, and 
more, in a matter of seconds, all 
of which will come in very handy 
the next time you're plotting out 
an adventure. Qjs] 

by Nathan Chandler 



58 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



Smart 
Searches 

Google Scholar Pinpoints Scholarly Research 




As a scholarly research tool, 
Google's Web Search can 
produce unreliable and irrel- 
evant links. For instance, a 
Web Search for prescription drug 
studies will often produce links to on- 
line pharmacies rather than research. 
Google has a special tool called Google 
Scholar (still in beta release) that can 
help users search for scholarly articles. 

Uncover Lost Resources 

Google Scholar includes only 
scholarly literature, such as abstracts, 
peer-reviewed papers, and theses. 
Most of the work is from academic 
publishers, professional organiza- 
tions, and universities. Nonscholarly 
sites, such as blogs, online pharma- 
cies, company Web sites, and per- 
sonal Web pages, should not appear 
in Google Scholar's search results. 

You can access the Google Scholar 
page at scholar.google.com. The 
Google Scholar page looks very similar 
to the main Google page, with a search 
field, a Search button, and a few links. 

Search results are listed in order of 
relevance, as determined by an algo- 
rithm. Similar to how the Google Web 
Search algorithm considers a site's 
popularity based in part on the 
number of Web pages that link to it, 



Google Scholar's algorithm deter- 
mines how well-accepted a scholarly 
work is based on how many other arti- 
cles cite it. For this reason, a student's 
thesis that is not cited elsewhere will 
rank lower than a journal article cited 
in 15 other scholarly papers. 

The algorithm also factors in au- 
thors. It gives greater weight to arti- 
cles written by people who authored 
many other scholarly works. Finally, 
Google Scholar's algorithm also de- 
termines search rankings based on an 
analysis of an article's text for key- 
words, as well as the number of hits 
the online article receives. 

Although this algorithm often pro- 
duces the most influential articles, it is 
not without its faults. Because older 
articles are likely to have been cited 
more times than newer articles, we 
found that older research often 
ranked much higher than the newest, 
most groundbreaking research. There 
are ways, though, to improve your 
search results, which we will cover 
later in this article. 

Beyond free content. Google Scholar 
not only lists freely available online 
content, but also subscriber- and print- 
only articles. This can be irritating 
when you don't have instant access 
to what could be a promising article. 
But unnecessarily restricting results to 



free online content can 
hinder research. Think 
of Google Scholar as an 
online catalog rather 
than a portal to articles. 
If an article is avail- 
able online, you can 
click its title. However, 
if you see "[citation]" 
in front of an article's 
title, Google Scholar 
found the title cited in 
another article but has 
not found an online 
copy of the work. 

Google offers tools 
to help you find copies 
of articles not avail- 
able through Google 
Scholar. First, if you 
see a Library Search link next to a 
title, you can click the link to search 
for libraries that hold a print copy of 
the article. 

If you click the Web Search link 
under the listing, Google will auto- 
matically perform a Web Search for 
the article. It performs this search 
based on the first listed author's name 
and the first word or words of the ar- 
ticle's title. In some cases, it may also 
include keywords from your original 
Google Scholar search. Sometimes, 
this Web Search provides a link to the 
article at a site not crawled by Google 
Scholar. The Web Search may also 
produce a link to a site where you 
may buy a copy of the publication. 

If you simply want more informa- 
tion about the title before buying or 
checking out a print copy, click the 
Cited By link under the article's listing. 
Here, you can browse other papers that 
cite the article. In many cases, these ar- 
ticles will summarize some of the re- 
search contained in the first article. 

Google Scholar often provides links 
to articles with restricted access for 
which you need a subscription to the 
publication. Google Scholar requires 
that publishers provide an abstract if 
the full text is not freely available. 
However, we often found that pub- 
lishers did not follow this rule. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 59 



The Search 



F— 



J* 



Your library may have a subscrip- 
tion to publications containing re- 
stricted-access articles. In addition, 
your library may make some of its 
holdings searchable through Google 
Scholar and available online to pa- 
trons. For the most complete access to 
articles, you should indicate any insti- 
tution with which you are affiliated. 
Once you configure Google Scholar 
for your institutional affiliation, if 
additional content is available through 
your library, you will see links to hold- 
ings at your library. You should also 
gain access to restricted- access articles 
if your library has a subscription to 
the publication's online content. 

To gain access to your institution's 
resources, click the Scholar Prefer- 
ences link on the main Google Scholar 
page. Type the name of your univer- 
sity or other institution in the 
Institutional Access field and click the 
Find Institution but- 
ton. If your library is 
signed up with Google 
Scholar, you will see it 
in a list. Make sure its 
checkbox is selected. A 
message on the page 
also indicates that you 
may need to log in 
with a library pass- 
word, use a campus 
computer, or configure 
your browser to use a 
library proxy. Specific 
instructions for gain- 
ing access to your in- 
stitution's resources 
through Google Schol- 
ar vary from institu- 
tion to institution so 
you will need to check 
with a librarian for de- 
tails. Make sure you 
have cookies enabled (so Google 
Scholar will save your preferences) 
and click the Save Preferences button. 



Scholar Search Tips 

Many of the basics of using Goo- 
gle's Web Search also apply to using 



Google Scholar. To brush up on per- 
forming a Google search, especially 
using operators, see "One In A Bil- 
lion" on p. 31. There are also special- 
ized search tools available in Google 
Scholar. 

To access Google Scholar's special 
search options, click the Advanced 
Scholar Search link or go to scholar 
.google.com/advanced_scholar_search. 
Here you can add operators (search 
criteria) to searches. Each field on the 
Advanced Scholar Search page is for 
one of the operators. Those under Find 
Articles, which appear in front of a 
bluish-green background, are the same 
operators you'll find in an Advanced 
Search in Google's basic Web Search. 
In addition, you will also find the 
Scholar-specific Author, Publication, 
and Date operators. 

To search for an article by author, 
type the author's name in the Return 



© - [§ J ^Wh ^ F av 0rite5 _ £ Coqgk-- 



Scholar <J> 



Advanced Scholar Search 



Fiml oiticles 


of the words 
with the exact phrase 

: i 
tthe words 
where rny words occur 




horesults j| [ 


Search Scholar ] 


leuror histamine 






anywhere in the article v| 




Publication 

D.ite 


Return articles written by 

Return articles published between 










e.g. , "PJ Hayes" or McCarthy 

Endocrinology 

e.g., J Biol Chen;- • ':;;,:. 

2004 | and 2005 

e.g., 1996 



You can use the Advanced Scholar Search to narrow search results by 
Author, Publication, and Date, as well as other criteria. 



Articles Written By field and click 
Search Scholar. Most authors' names 
are indexed with first initial, middle ini- 
tial, and last name. However, if you 
don't get the results you want, you 
should experiment with other varia- 
tions, such as first initial and last name 
or first name, middle initial, and last 



name. Include quotes around the full 
name for more accurate searches. You 
can also add an author operator to a 
search. To do this, simply type author: 
and the author's name (use quotation 
marks around the name if it is more 
than one word). Then type keywords 
for which you'd like to search, for ex- 
ample, author:"LJ Cooper" histamine. 

On the Advanced Scholar Search 
page, the next operator listed is 
Publication. If you know the journal in 
which the article appeared, you can 
search only articles from that publica- 
tion. You may need to use some trial 
and error to find the journal you're 
looking for because citations abbreviate 
journal names in various ways. For in- 
stance, the Journal of Applied Mathe- 
matics may be abbreviated as / ofApp 
Math or Jul ofAppl Math. 

Finally, you can restrict searches 
by date. This is especially useful 
if you want only the 
most recent research 
on a specific topic. As 
we mentioned earlier, 
Google Scholar tends 
to favor older articles. 
To restrict a search by 
date, type a start and 
end year in the Return 
Articles Published Be- 
tween fields. 

Higher Education 

Google Scholar can 
provide search results 
that are far more de- 
pendable than those 
achieved through a 
regular Google Web 
Search. Because of its 
focus on academics 
and scholarly work, 
Google Scholar is mainly geared to- 
ward the academic world. Google 
Scholar's listings are still far from 
complete, but they do provide a 
useful starting point for students 
and researchers. __ 

by Kylee Dickey 



60 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Search 



Boutique 
Searches 

Specialty Search Engines 
Help You Narrow Your Search 




Every member of the driving 
public has experienced it at 
one time or another: the in- 
ability to find our keys when 
we're running late for an appoint- 
ment. Usually, we manage to find 
them by focusing on the part of the 
house where we think our keys are 
most likely to be. If we last came in 
came in through the kitchen door, 
there's a good chance our keys are 
somewhere in or near the kitchen. If 
we're smart we check there first, 
rather than start off by looking 
through the entire house. 

Sometimes trying to find informa- 
tion online feels like finding a lost set of 
keys. And just as when you're searching 
for your keys, you can improve your 
chances of finding what you're looking 
for if you can search a subset of the 
Internet rather than trying to search 
the entire thing. Google makes this 
possible by offering several specialty 
search engines that target particular 
subsections of the Internet. 

For instance, if you're looking for 
information about running Firefox 



on Windows XP, searching the entire 
Web is going to yield some results 
about running Firefox on Linux. A 
better approach is to use a specialized 
Google search engine to focus only on 
Microsoft-related Web sites. When 
we searched for Firefox on Google's 
home page, we received 34,900,000 
results. Using Google's specialized 
search engines to focus on Microsoft- 
related Web sites, however, produced 
just 4,150,000 results. In other words, 
using the Microsoft search page elimi- 
nated some 30 million results. Still an 
awful lot to sort through, of course, 
but only about 11% of the sites we 
might have had to check out. 

That's Our Specialty 

Google offers six specialty Web 
searches, four of which deal exclu- 
sively with computing platforms: 
Microsoft Search (www.google.com 
/microsoft. html), Apple Macintosh 
Search (www.google.com/mac.html), 
Linux Search (www.google.com 
/linux), and BSD Search (www. google 



.com/bsd). Google also offers a U.S. 
Government Search (www. google 
.com/unclesam) that helps you find 
information from government agen- 
cies and a University Search (www 
.google.com/intl/en/options/universi 
ties.html) that lets you find informa- 
tion from educational institutions. 

You can access specialty searches di- 
rectly by entering the proper URL, or 
you can click the Advanced Search link 
next to the search field on the Google 
home page (as well as on most other 
Google search pages). The specialty 
searches are listed near the bottom of 
the Advanced Search page (along with 
links to Google Print and Google 
Scholar, which we cover on pages 
52 and 59, respectively). 

Red, White & Blue 

Sometimes it feels like government 
Web sites are designed more to ap- 
peal to some sort of arcane set of 
regulations than for ease of use. 
Google's U.S. Government Search pro- 
vides an alternative to the endless 
browsing of government Web sites. 
The U.S. Government Search can be 
helpful for finding mundane items 
such as tax forms, but most of us al- 
ready know that we can find such 
forms on the IRS' site. The real useful- 
ness of Google's U.S. Government 
Search is when you're not even sure 
where to begin looking. 

Actually, even finding tax forms is 
simpler when using a specialized Google 
search than when trolling the IRS' site 
unaided. A simple search for "1040" 
using Google's specialty search engine 
returns a link to the most recent version 
of Form 1040 from the IRS Web site 
atop the search results. Directly below 
the link to Form 1040 is a link to instruc- 
tions on how to properly fill out the 
form. In contrast, searching for "1040" 
from Google's home page returns plenty 
of pages from tax preparation sites such 
as eSmartTax and MSN Money, but the 
IRS link wasn't even included in the first 
200 results. Adding "Form" and "IRS" to 
the search string produced a few links to 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 61 



The Search 



sites with information about Form 1040 
(some of which may link to the official 
form), but we still didn't note a direct 
link to the IRS Web page in any of our 
results. Even restricting a search for 
"1040" to the IRS' Web site (www 
irs.gov) didn't produce the kind of effi- 
cient results we got from Google's U.S. 
Government Search. 

Browsing through government Web 
sites can be especially frustrating when 
you're not even sure which govern- 
ment agency you need to deal with. 
For instance, if you've never had a 
passport and suddenly need one, you 
may not know where to begin looking 
for information. Searching for 
"passport" on Google's home 
page results in a bunch of ir- 
relevant links, many related to 
Microsoft's Passport service. 
The same search on Google's 
U.S. Government Search, 
however, returns a page from 
the U.S. Bureau Of Consular 
Affairs (a part of the State 
Department) with all kinds of 
information about obtaining 
a passport, and no mention of 
Microsoft's Passport service. 

Note that the standard op- 
erators we've discussed else- 
where in this issue also apply 
in all the specialty searches. 
Placing a minus sign (-) in 
front of a term, for instance, 
prevents Google from dis- 
playing results that include 
that term. Placing "OR" (in all caps) 
between words tells Google to search 
for one word or the other. Placing a 
search string in quotes tells Google to 
search for a specific phrase rather 
than individual words. For a list of 
other operators that may be relevant, 
see "One In A Billion" on page 31 of 
this issue. 

OS Skills 

Sometimes finding help with a par- 
ticular software problem can be diffi- 
cult, especially if the application runs 
on more than one operating system. 



Again, Google's specialty searches 
provide a bit of extra help by letting 
you zero in on a specific operating 
system. If you're having problems 
with an application in Windows, you 
can search Windows-related Web 
sites. If you can't get KDE working on 
BSD, you can avoid those pages that 
discuss making KDE run on Linux. 

In some ways, Microsoft may be 
the most useless of the specialty 
searches. Given the widespread use 
of Microsoft's products, it's entirely 
likely that results from searching 
Google's home page will closely 
match results from Google's (sup- 



!*> ]&».-*fn lata tjtfc 



~~ 3 o* [JcT 



|*i^tni<j 5 






l-j-pnqr jj 



* NeHtgnng f* F*(r upnj S= 
Pags-Specific Ssarch 

SMlM find pigDA f.imlto it, [ho- p.iqr, 

.in--. r.rd [ sqes lhai ' r.- id [he 1 1'. ? 

Topic-Specific Searches 



Hi ? Macintosh - 3*srcfi far A ihinqt M 



Can't remember a specialty search page's URL? No 
problem. You can access any of the specialty searches 
from the Advanced Search page. Just scroll to the bottom 
of the page and click the proper link. 



posedly more specific) Microsoft 
Search. Searches for a specific 
Windows error message, for in- 
stance, will likely return results from 
Microsoft-related Web sites only. 
Therefore, using Microsoft Search 
probably won't return better or 
more focused results. As we men- 
tioned earlier, the Microsoft Search 
may be most useful when looking 
for help about a cross-platform ap- 
plication (such as the previously 
mentioned Firefox) that's running 
on Windows. 

Because other operating systems 
are less popular, Google's Apple, 



Linux, and BSD searches sometimes 
prove more helpful than a Microsoft- 
specific search. For instance, if you 
want to know whether you can access 
a FAT32 external hard drive in OS X, 
Google's Apple Macintosh Search is a 
good place to start. Searching for 
"OS X FAT32" on Google's home 
page produces 132,000 results. The 
same search using Google's Apple 
Macintosh Search yields only 27,300 
results, the very first one of which was 
entitled "Are FAT32/NTFS File 
Systems Handled By Mac OSX?" 
which sounds exactly like what we're 
looking for. As it turns out, the link 
points to a forum where the 
topic is discussed and thor- 
oughly answered. 

Linux is becoming popular 
with some power users who 
have the patience and desire 
to learn it. If you're one of 
those determined to give 
Linux a try, you'll want to 
keep Google's Linux Search 
in mind. You'll find, for ex- 
ample, that configuring a 
home network in Linux is 
very different from config- 
uring a home network in 
Windows. Searching for 
"Configure Home Network" 
from Google's home page is 
going to return a lot of 
Windows-related informa- 
tion. In fact, our first result 
was "Home Network With 
TCP/IP And Microsoft Windows." 
Obviously, this isn't helpful if you're 
trying to get your home network up 
on Linux. You'll need to weed 
through approximately 7,300,000 re- 
sults to find the ones that may be rele- 
vant to you. The same search from 
Google's Linux Search yields a still 
voluminous but much more manage- 
able 241,000 results. 

BSD is similar to Linux. In fact, 
many of the applications that run on 
Linux also run on BSD. KDE is a pop- 
ular desktop environment used on both 
Linux and BSD. Thus, searching for 
KDE from Google's home page is likely 



62 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



pasop-ortuvnasag oyf 



to result in plenty of information about 
running KDE on Linux, but relevant 
BSD information may be harder to 
come by. Running the same search 
from Google's BSD Search eliminates 
more than 7 million results. The general 
search returns KDE's home page 
(www.kde.org) as the first result. The 
first result from the BSD Search comes 
from the same domain, but it 
returns pages relevant specifi- 
cally to BSD (more specifi- 
cally, a derivative of BSD 
known as FreeBSD). 

As we mentioned, you can 
use special operators to re- 
fine your search, but we 
should also note that there 
are no Advanced Search 
pages linked to specialty 
searches. The Advanced 
Search links next to the 
search field on specialty 
search sites take you to the 
same Advanced Search page 
you can access from Google's 
home page. As a result, any 
searches conducted from the 
Advanced Search page will 
search Google's general data- 
base and be equivalent to a search 
conducted from Google's home page. 
You'll need to use special operators 
on the specialty search page in order 
to take advantage of Google's ad- 
vanced search options. 

Search Your Alma Mater 

Have you ever had to have your 
former college mail out your acad- 
emic transcripts? If so, you know how 
difficult finding the right information 
on your college's Web site can be. 
Once again, Google's there to help. 

Last time we checked, Google's 
University Search consisted of 788 
colleges and universities each with its 
own unique search page. You can se- 
lect your school from a list of schools 
located at www.google.com/universi 
ties.html. This ensures that if you 
want to find out more about admis- 
sions at the State University Of New 



York at Buffalo, you won't get results 
from the State University Of New 
York at Stony Brook. 

If you don't see your college or uni- 
versity listed, you can nominate it for 
inclusion by clicking the Add Your 
Campus To This List link. Google will 
ask you for some information in- 
cluding your name, email address, and 



f*¥< S*> 'Jix-:ws Los 



~3 o* [sn 



[Clfeo* M<ih*j :;]<w»*<k4#* ;;j *»*>**, 






1*0 P«poiT StOriM* rift.-,- nic Ml *feMM » and *0rw:O5 14 Am 
J$ply in p*r*W tfifou arc jf nlf.ni] ':■! i US |napnrt In tho ,_ 

hinii-IOk- Aju»23.2t»5- : 



- :• -'. rravel State C-g* 
Gat nr Bsnsw Psnpnrt Application? and F ofmrs L8i1 or Stolen I 
T(nflpOt»ry Vitflgr* In (he US F'nimww nl Irmiigrlnr* to Ihf US n 
livwl tltM gu-'' 26* Aug 23, JJ06 . I.' it. lie J 



rnspsrt Acceplance Facility Stored F'ajo Tnia ?rt 

l»C*li*n I* apply *Ji J pnqiDrt ll k im.vdfj sj '.Ik 

13k Ami .' i . A i h . ■ 



RMUtEl'IDC ■■ ■■ I HI IH ;■■ ■• for p*fsp»rt (1 29 UCMftl) 



I 



O'ilno In'Jnjctwns. Makr Vtjor Tnp 
ThO> f »*l Eipl4*0' On 1F* InlOmOl 

PMuafl-SvntDi, 

■JS Pmjh.i1 new. ton , ranawala. 

Sarna jla jfllhr sawe* Nationwide 

rj.inil' H.l. Pjbkpimi-.it. .■ 

. ■, i 1 Prapnrt Snnitn 
UuJrinlt.i N a i,a™d* Smc» 196} 



nil -■. iIhi' ,|,:-n h,.;^,.;' I _ 
s faup ortis a mime adif'ssion am: discount piss Fm ... Wn*ia a pa 
t k* n charged, the Uuke-i Aje I'amfujrl difnilv I>ih ... 



: ; cm, i«ec»lui.U'J CawfMji 
LOW ft*1» Gu*Onto«l U* Holp. 
www pj^|iOrtl?3 torn 



r «1, reliable US uettcon sm 
Only J9Q - Low tiia guaiartiBv 



Google has a reputation for turning its logo into a work of 
art. Perhaps it shouldn't surprise us that the Google logo 
changes to reflect the specialty search page. 



the name and location of your school. 
Google encourages you to have fellow 
classmates or graduates suggest the 
school as well. Inclusion in the list is 
strictly at Google's discretion, so don't 
assume that just because you provided 
the information your school will defi- 
nitely be listed. 

If Google lists your school, click the 
proper link to go to the specialized 
search page for that school. In addi- 
tion to the search field, you'll see a 
couple of links to Google Groups and 
Google Alerts. Google suggests using 
Google Groups to create a discussion 
group for your school or using Google 
Alerts to receive email updates about 
your school. (For more information 
on Google Groups, see page 73 in this 
issue. For more information about 
Google Alerts, see page 10.) 

Obviously, if you need to have 
your transcripts from the Universi- 
ty Of Nebraska mailed to another 



educational institution, searching for 
"Transcript" from Google's home 
page is a worthless exercise, much 
more frustrating than helpful. Such a 
search returned 29,600,000 results and 
most of the results on the first page 
didn't even refer to academic tran- 
scripts. Adding "Academic" to the 
query reduced the number of results 
to 7,570,000, but finding the 
right page for your university 
among all those results is next 
to impossible. Even adding 
"University Of Nebraska" to 
the search string didn't get us 
the results we wanted. The 
first link (from 53,900 results) 
took us to the University's 
College Of Law. The correct 
link didn't appear on the first 
page of results at all. 

Searching for "Transcripts" 
from the Google's University 
Search page, however, reduced 
the number of results to just 
17,800, and the first result pro- 
vided the information we 
needed. We did note, however, 
that the University Search fea- 
ture effectively just searches a 
college or university's domain name. 
That means you can accomplish the 
same search from the home page if you 
know the school's domain name by 
using the site: operator, in other words, 
typing transcript site:unl.edu from 
Google's home page produces the same 
17,800 results. 

Divide & Find 

The idea of dividing the Internet 
into subsections is appealing when 
you're searching for information re- 
lated to a specific topic. After all, who 
wants to sift through information 
about Microsoft's Passport service 
when you're trying to plan a trip to 
Italy? The specialty sites we explored 
here aren't for everyday use, but it's 
worth remembering that they're an 
often-helpful option. Qjs] 

by Chad Denton 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 63 



Stay Connected 



IPs Not Email, 
It's Gmail 

How To Master Google's Web-based Email 



You've mastered email, so 
now are you ready for 
Gmail? Most of the hype 
surrounding Google's 
Web-based email service 
is due to the scarcity of its accounts 
when it was first rolled out (see the 
"I Want My Gmail" sidebar for more 
on that), and most of its popularity is 
due to the massive amount of storage 
space Gmail offers. Google's plan 
was to create a service where users 



would never have to delete a single 
email, and for most users the 2.5GB 
of space that comes with each free 
account is more than enough room 
to meet that goal. 

Better still, Google uses the search 
technology it's famous for to search 
Gmail accounts, letting users sift 
through thousands of messages in a 
fraction of a second. The service also 
organizes messages by "conversa- 
tion," grouping messages on the same 




subject so that it's easy to follow the 
flow of the discussion. 

Although Gmail is still in beta and 
accounts are invitation-only, it is 
much easier to get a Gmail account 
now than it was in the past, and if you 
are lucky enough to get one, this ar- 
ticle will help you get the most out of 
the service. 

Establish An Account 

There is a possibility that Gmail 
will be out of beta by the time you 
read this, in which case all you'll need 
to do is visit mail.google.com to sign 
up for an account. Otherwise have a 
friend with a Gmail account send you 
an invitation, click the link in the in- 
vitation email that you received and 
the account creation page opens in 
your Web browser. You can also sign 
up for an account using your mobile 
phone. Click the Sign Up For Gmail 
Using Your Mobile Phone link in the 
lower right corner of the Gmail home 
page and follow the instructions. 

On the Account Creation page, the 
First Name and Last Name you enter 
will appear in all outgoing emails, and 
the six- to thirty- digit login name you 
choose will be part of your Gmail 
email address. Don't be surprised if 
the login name you want is already 
taken, and click the Check Availability 
button to see if the one you typed is 
still open so you don't have to retype 
everything on the page later. 

Type in and confirm the password 
you will use to access the account, 
pick a security question and answer, 
and fill in the Word Verification box 
before clicking the button at the 
bottom of the page to create your ac- 
count. When the next page appears, 
click the I'm Ready - Show Me My 
Account link and you are automati- 
cally logged into your Gmail account. 

Establish Basic Settings 

Now that you have an account, it's 
time to set things up according to your 
preferences. Click the Settings link in 



64 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



the upper-right corner of the page. If 
you want to use a different name on 
outgoing messages than the one you 
signed up with, click the Accounts tab, 
click Edit Info, choose the Use A 
Business Name Or Nickname radio 
button, and enter the new name. 

To change your reply-to address 
(the address other people see 
when you send emails from 
Gmail) click Accounts and click 
Add Another Email Address. Click 
Specify A Different "Reply-To" 
Address and enter the address you 
want to use instead of your Gmail 
address. For example, if you enter 
me@myemailaddress.com in the 
text box and select the radio 
button next to it, all messages sent 
from your Gmail account will look 
like they come from me@mye- 
mailaddress.com. This is useful if 
you don't want to use Gmail as 
your primary email account but 
need to use it for sending messages 
when on the road. 

Use the Maximum Page Size drop- 
down menu to choose how many 
conversations you want to have dis- 
played on a single page in conversa- 
tion view. The default is 50, but if you 
have a small monitor 25 conversa- 
tions may fit more comfortably, and if 
you have a large monitor selecting 
100 can save you some clicks. 

We recommend selecting the Key- 
board Shortcuts On radio button to 
enable that handy feature, which is 
discussed in detail in the "Gmail 
Shortcuts" sidebar. 

The Personal Level Indicators option 
lets you mark messages with a double- 
carat (>>) if they were sent only to 
your address, or with a single carat (>) 
if they were sent to a group of people 
or a mailing list. This is useful for 
weeding out spam, or unsolicited email 
(usually marketing messages sent to 
numerous addresses) or for keeping 
your personal messages visually sepa- 
rated from those generated by any 
mailing lists to which you subscribe. 

Snippets are enabled by default, 
and we recommend you leave the 



option that way unless you feel the 
feature is annoying. It simply shows 
a small portion of the entire message 
beside each subject line. 

The Signature text box lets you 
add a block of text that appears at 
the end of each email you send. This 
is great for business users who want 



I U J- tT- T-. ■£> e 






n text Check spelling 



3:- :' 

.:,nc 

Underline 

Font Font Font Font Font 

Colored Text 

Link 



Use the formatting tools to modify text just like 
you would with a word processor. 



Select All, None, Read, Unread. Starred, Unstarred 




| j*jicHve | -.i:::\l\z" j . :■?-:: ;ns !v 


l press shift ; 
r 2521 MB. 


Select multiple conversations at 

You are currentl 

Gmail view: 
"ernns cf L = r - =■■ 


Mark as unread 
Remove star 
Move to Trash 

Apply label: 
Business 
Delete Later 
Personal 
Urgent 







Use the More Actions menu to 
perform a number of operations on 
selected emails. 



to append their name and contact in- 
formation to each outgoing message. 
If you need to change any of the in- 
formation that you entered when you 
signed up for the account, such as 
your password or the security ques- 
tion, click the Accounts tab and use 
the link in the Google Account 
Settings section to make the necessary 
edits. Be aware that you can never 
change your login name. To get a dif- 
ferent one you must open a com- 
pletely new Gmail account. 

Working With Email 

You'll find all of the controls you 
need to send and read email on the 
left side of the interface, so let's step 



through them in order so you can get 
the most out of Gmail. 

Compose Mail 

Only the person who invited you 
knows that you have a Gmail account, 
so let's email other people to tell them 
the good news. Click Compose 
Mail and enter the email address 
of the person you want to write to 
in the To box. Eventually you'll 
build up a Contacts list, which 
we'll discuss later, and in the fu- 
ture when you begin typing an ad- 
dress, a pop-up box appears 
containing all of your stored con- 
tacts that contain the letters you 
are typing. When this box appears, 
if you see the address you are 
typing, press the Down arrow key 
until the address is highlighted 
and then press Enter to automati- 
cally add it to the To box. 
You can email up to 100 people at 
once by entering several addresses in 
the To box, each separated by a 
comma or semicolon. Or you can 
click the Add Cc entry and add ad- 
dresses there if you want to create a 
Carbon Copy list of recipients. When 
emailing multiple people using those 
two methods, everyone who gets the 
message can see the email addresses of 
everyone else who got it, and that is 
not always ideal. If you want to hide 
all your recipients' email addresses, 
enter your email address in the To 
box, click Add Bcc, and enter every- 
one else's email addresses in the Bcc 
box. Bcc stands for Blind Carbon 
Copy, and it's an indispensable tool 
for those using Gmail for business. 

Type a subject in the Subject box 
and type your email in the text box 
below that. If you are writing a long 
email or need to get offline quickly, 
click Save Draft and it is saved for 
later editing. Be careful not to click 
the Discard button, which scraps the 
current email and dumps you back to 
the mail Gmail page without any 
warning. You'll also notice a row of 
icons at the top of the text box that 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 65 



Stay Connected 



provide access to a number of word 
processing tools including bold, 
italics, underline, highlighting, and 
other features. If you don't under- 
stand what a particular icon repre- 
sents, place the mouse cursor over it 
and a tooltip box appears under the 
cursor that displays the icon's name. 
Also, if you apply formatting and 
want to get rid of it, highlight the for- 
matted text and click the Remove 
Formatting icon. 

Most of the formatting tools are 
self-explanatory, but the Link feature 
is an exception. It lets you turn a se- 
lected block of text into a hyperlink so 
you don't have to paste the messy- 
looking link directly into the message. 
For example, if you want to include a 
link to www.youhavetocheckout 
thiswebsite.com into your message, 
you could type the words click here, 
highlight them, click the Link icon, 
and type www.youhavetocheckout 
thiswebsite.com in the text box before 
clicking OK. The text "click here" 
now turns blue with an underline to 
indicate that it is a hyperlink, and 
when the recipient clicks it, his Web 
browser will open www.youhave 
tocheckoutthiswebsite.com. 

The formatting tools are only avail- 
able if you use Gmail's default Rich 
Text mode. Click Plain Text to switch 
to that mode, which only lets you type 
plain text. This is helpful if you are 
sending email to somebody who can't 
open rich text emails, which is the 
case at many businesses as well as 
some products such as some email 
software for PDAs. 

Gmail has an integrated spell- 
checker that you can access by clicking 
the Check Spelling link on the far right 
side of the message box. Potentially 
misspelled words are highlighted in 
yellow, and you can click the word to 
make a pop-up box appear that con- 
tains suggested alternatives. Just click 
the word on the list that you want to 
use and it automatically replaces the 
misspelled word. 

One of the great things about email 
is that it lets you send files to other 



people in the form of attachments, and 
Gmail users are free to append up to 
10MB of files to each email they send. 
To do this, click Attach A File and nav- 
igate to the file you want to attach, click 
the file's name to highlight it, and click 
Open. You can add several files as long 
as you don't exceed the 10MB overall 
limit by clicking Attach Another File 
and repeating the process. If you acci- 
dentally attach the wrong file to an 
email, click the Remove link next to the 
file's name to drop it from the list. 

When you're done composing the 
email, click Send to transmit it. This 
process takes only a few seconds if 
you have no attachments, but if you 
included attachments you may have 
to wait several minutes for the mes- 
sage to be sent depending on the size 
of the files and the speed of your 
Internet connection. Don't close the 
window until you see a message 
telling you the email was successfully 
sent, and don't worry about saving a 
copy — it's automatically added to 
your Sent Mail folder, attachments 
and all. 



I Want My Gmail 



In the spring of 2004, when the Gmail beta went public and accounts were 
nearly impossible to get, Sean Michaels founded the Gmail Swap Web site 
(www.gmailswap.com). Although he already had an account, some of his friends 
didn't, and he was dismayed when he started scouting around to see how people 
were getting accounts. "The only thing I could find was eBay," says Michaels, 
"where invitations were selling for as much as $1 1 5. This crass commercialism re- 
ally bothered me, so I created Gmail Swap with the idea that creative, kind, and 
nice people might be able to find other like-minded folk, and find an invitation 
that way." 

The site is all but defunct now that accounts are easy to get but saw more 
than 300,000 visitors a day at its peak. Here's a list of some of the more memo- 
rable swaps that Michaels knows were completed: 

Someone who offered to "call his mom and tell her he loved her" was very quickly 
offered an account 

A bodyguard in Chicago guarded someone for a day 

A live tarantula 

Home-baked cookies 

A hot-air balloon ride in San Francisco 

A couple of people wrote and recorded original songs for the recipient. One of them 
is still available at: www.hatheadmusic.com/listenframe.htm 



Inbox 

Before long, people will start 
sending messages to your Gmail ac- 
count, and you can view and manage 
these files by clicking Inbox. A list of 
emails and conversations appears, 
with the most recently received at the 
top, and they all follow the same 
basic format. 

On the far left of each entry is a 
checkbox that lets you select the email 
for further processing without actu- 
ally opening the message. You can se- 
lect multiple emails this way, and 
we'll talk about what to do with se- 
lected entries shortly. 

Next to the checkbox is a white 
star, which turns into a yellow star 
when clicked. Starred emails are dis- 
played in the Starred folder, which 
makes them very easy to find, and 
we'll discuss that feature later, as well. 

Next to the star is the name of the 
person or company who sent the email, 
and if a number in parenthesis appears 
next to the name it means this email is 
part of a conversation, or a series of 



66 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



emails to and from the same person re- 
garding the same subject. The number 
in the parenthesis tells you how many 
messages are in that conversation. 

Next up are the carats that tell you 
if the message was sent only to you 
(two carats) or to a group of people 
(one carat), followed by the email's 
subject line in black, which is then 
followed by a snippet of the message 
in gray if that feature is enabled. This 
is followed by a paperclip icon if the 
message or conversation contains an 
attachment, and then the date the 
message was sent (or the time, if the 
message was received that day). 

You can click the email entry any- 
where to the right of the star to open it, 
but before we get into that let's talk 
about what you can do with selected 
emails. These entries are highlighted in 
yellow, and if you click one of the en- 
tries in the More Actions drop -down 
menu at the top of the Inbox, such as 
Mark As Unread, Add Star, or Move To 
Trash, the effects of those features apply 
to all of the selected emails. You can 
also archive email or report it as spam 
by clicking one of the corresponding 
buttons to the left of the More Actions 
box. There are several options next to 
Select on this screen (just under the 
Archive and Report Spam buttons), in- 
cluding All, None, Read, Unread, 
Starred, and Unstarred. Note that when 
you select an email entry with a number 
in parenthesis, you are selecting the en- 
tire conversation, and any actions you 
take will apply to every email within 
that conversation. 

Clicking Archive appears to delete the 
selected emails and conversations from 
the list, but don't panic — they're actu- 
ally dumped into the All Mail folder. 

If you receive an unsolicited email, 
select it and click Report Spam to 
move it to your Spam folder. This also 
passes it along to the folks at Google 
for analysis. 

Read Messages & Conversations 

When you click an entry, the mes- 
sage or conversation it contains will 



appear. If the entry is part of a con- 
versation, the most recent message in 
the exchange appears at the bottom, 
layered on top of previous messages 
which can be read by clicking their 
entries. If you want to quickly display 
all of the messages on-screen at once, 
click Expand All. 

You can click Reply at the bottom 
of a displayed message to compose a 
response (which is then included in 
the conversation), or click Forward to 
pass the message along to someone 
else. Click the Print icon on the 
upper-right side of the message to 
create a printer- friendly version of the 
entire conversation, and click the star 
on any individual email to star it 
(found on the upper- right side of the 
message, next to the sender's name), 
which is handy if you don't want to 
star the entire conversation. 

You can access most of the features 
on this screen by clicking the More 
Options link at the top of an open mes- 
sage. This displays a string of entries 
that let you Reply to, Forward, or Print 
the message as normal, but you can also 
click Reply All to respond to everyone 
the email was sent to. Click Add Sender 
To Contacts List to transfer an email 
address to that list automatically, or 
click Trash This Message if you want to 
get rid of an individual email without 
trashing the entire conversation. 

Use the Report Phishing option 
when you receive an unsolicited email 
that contains a phishing scam, where 
a thief asks you to send him detailed 
personal information while posing as 
a legitimate company such as eBay or 
even Google. If you have reason to 
believe an email is attempting to de- 
fraud you in this way, click Report 
Phishing to pass the email to the 
Google team so they can flag similar 
messages as potential phishing emails 
for other Gmail users. 

Sometimes it is necessary to see 
the raw data contained in the email if 
you are troubleshooting or working 
with your ISP (Internet service 
provider) to solve a problem. 
Clicking Show Original displays the 



email in its entirety, complete with 
all of the tags, headers, and other in- 
formation that is so helpful when 
doing this type of work. 

If the message you are reading has a 
paperclip icon, the message has one 
or more attachments. You can read 
the name of the attached file at the 
bottom of the screen and click 
Download to save the file to your 
computer. Note the file size listed 
next to the download link; on slow 
dial-up connections a large, multi- 
megabyte attachment can take several 
minutes to download, and you 
shouldn't close the Gmail window 
until the download is complete. 

Starred 

Clicking the Starred link on the left 
side of the screen accesses a special 



AdSense 



Notice the Sponsored Links 
that pop up on nearly every 
single Gmail page? The ads pay for 
your "free" account, but they also 
represent what some consider the 
service's dark side. Gmail scans all 
of the messages contained in the 
currently displayed conversation 
and uses keywords from the mes- 
sages to send targeted ads to your 
computer. That means you get 
ads that are relevant to what you 
are discussing, but it also means 
that Google is always reading over 
your shoulder. 

The technology driving all of this 
is called AdSense, and its contro- 
versy goes beyond targeted ads. If 
Google is using your emails about 
your upcoming vacation to pitch 
ski gear and reduced lodge rates to 
you, some wonder what is stopping 
them from letting others — namely 
the government — use the tech- 
nology to create a detailed per- 
sonal profile. Google claims it is 
doing no such thing and refuses to 
comment further. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 67 



Stay Connected 



folder that holds virtual copies of all 
the email starred in your Inbox and 
All Mail folders. You can manipulate 
and read the messages here just like 
you can in the Inbox, but this folder 
makes it easy to keep track of impor- 
tant messages and conversations. If 
you want to take an entry out of the 
Starred folder, select it and click the 
Remove Star button at the bottom left 
of the screen. 

Sent Mail 

The Sent Mail link takes you to a 
repository of every email sent from 
your account. Once again, managing 
messages here is identical to man- 
aging messages in the Inbox. 

Drafts 

If you click Save Draft in the 
Compose Mail window, Gmail saves 
the message to the Drafts folder. To 
delete a draft, select it and click 
Discard Drafts. Otherwise simply 
click the entry for any draft to edit 
and send it just as we discussed in the 
Compose Mail section. 

All Mail 

All Mail works precisely as it 
sounds — you can access every mes- 
sage you receive, send, archive, or 
save as a draft from this screen. Click 
any drafts (labeled with red text) to 
edit and send them, and if you want 
to reinstate a message or conversation 
to the Inbox, select it and click Move 
To Inbox. 

Spam 

Gmail has a decent built-in spam 
filter, but you are free to flag any un- 
solicited messages and send them to 
this Spam folder. If you make a mis- 
take, select the entry and click the Not 
Spam button at the bottom of this 
screen. To permanently delete spam 
to free up storage space, select it and 
click Delete Forever. 



jeeie -:-eve- | | '.:: 3;-c- | Mere Actions 



^ Refresh 1 - 



Select: All, None, Read, Unread, Starred, Unstarred 

(spam messages older than 30 days will be autcma: :,= . -i- -■-- 
>□ Tracy Baker » Spam Test 9 31 



Select: All, None, Read, Unread, Starred, Unstarred 

Ittt ; :t.t ',:: 3;-a- | Mere Actions 1 - 1 of 1 



If you accidentally flag a message as 
Spam select it and click Not Spam to 
retract the report. 



Gm ii 


"""*• 


kw$Bnnl.<w 


"'^^ 


■ 


M 


Crtttt i Fitar 




1 h,: ■ f, -.-r ,-. r .Mr 1-, 


■r.iiin^.i. ■eden 

.■ .i ■. ■■' 'iI'm- A 

Wlten a massag 
Show currem fi 


New, s»l«r ihfr wiOA yeu'<l lik« «0 i*h« *n nioswijos ita. 

wntm 1h*1 malcta* thfl seiith hisrarachment do th 
D Skip die Inbox :Ajchr.* it) 
l*J SUrli 


1 -UMli.'i ll-n 

fcllosYing 






b4 Apply dia label: u.g 


Ml 


* 


GFom*rdHtt:*»>.l.ll 


Hr»* S 




U Mow ith.ll» Trad, 
hers | Cancel 1 | ■. Sack | f 




1 


Create F.hcr 



Filters let you create rules that 
automatically sort incoming messages. 



Trash 

Messages and conversations re- 
moved from any folder other than the 
Spam folder are sent to the Trash 
folder. You can fix mistakes by se- 
lecting an entry and clicking Move To 
Inbox, or get rid of an entry perma- 
nently by selecting it and clicking the 
Delete Forever button at the bottom 
of this section. 



Contacts 

You can easily keep in touch with 
friends, family members, and col- 
leagues thanks to Gmail's Contacts 
list. The Frequently Mailed tab nar- 
rows down the list to the people you 
talk to most often, while clicking All 
Contacts displays the entire list. Just 
select the entries for the people you 
want to email, click Compose, and 
type away. Get rid of entries by se- 
lecting them and clicking the Delete 
button at the bottom. You can also 
add contacts manually by clicking the 
Add Contact link in the upper right 
and typing their email addresses. You 
can also click a person's name and 
click Edit Contact Information to 



change that person's contact informa- 
tion or add some notes. Clicking Add 
More Contact Info opens entries for a 
contact's address and phone numbers. 

If you already have an email pro- 
gram such as Outlook Express that 
has a contact list, you can save a lot of 
time by exporting the list from the 
email software into Gmail. You need 
to create a CSV (Comma Separated 
Values) file to import this informa- 
tion, so refer to the documentation 
that came with your email to follow 
the steps for creating such a file. In 
Outlook Express 6 click File, expand 
Export, click Address Book, click 
Text File (Comma Separated Values), 
and click Export. Choose a file name, 
click Next, select all of the fields you 
want to include for each entry, and 
click Finish. 

To get the file into Gmail, click 
Contacts, click Import Contacts, click 
Browse, and navigate to the CSV file 
you just created. Click it, click Open, 
and click Import Contacts. They 
should all show up the next time you 
access the Contacts list. 

Labels 

Labels provide a convenient way to 
organize messages by category, ur- 
gency, or any other method you 
dream up. Click Edit Labels in the 
Labels menu below the links on the 
left (you may have to click the arrow 
to the left of Labels to see this menu), 
enter a name for the label in the 
Create A New Label box, and click 
Create. Do this as many times as you 
like. If you want to delete a label, click 
the name of the label in the Labels 
menu, then click the Remove Label 
"label name" button, which appears 
both above and below the Labels se- 
tion. To change the label's name, click 
the Edit Labels link in the Labels 
menu, click the Rename link, and 
make the adjustment. You can also 
remove labels from here as well, by 
clicking the Remove link. 

Any time you see the More Actions 
drop-down menu, you can use it to 



68 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



apply any label you've created to any 
message or conversation. By clicking 
the label's name in the Label menu on 
the left, you can quickly access every 
message to which that label is as- 
signed, making labels work much like 
folders do in Windows. 

Invite A Friend 

If you want to introduce a friend to 
the joys of Gmail, enter his email ad- 
dress in the Invite A Friend box and 
click Send Invite. Just remember that 
you have a limited number of invites 
(although the current 50 per account 
is extremely generous). If you don't 
see the Invite A Friend box you're out 
of luck until Google allocates some 
invitations to your account, which is 
done randomly. 

Additional Features 

We've just covered the basics so far, 
but Gmail offers a number of ad- 
vanced settings and options that can 
help you manage your email. 



Gmail Shortcuts 



With Keyboard Shortcuts enabled, Gmail works 
almost as efficiently as a good standalone 
email program. Here are a few essential shortcuts to 
keep handy: 



Enter or o 


Expand Conversation 


n 


Next Message 


P 


Previous Message/Select Search Box 


k 


Move To Newer Conversation 


J 


Move To Older Conversation 


u 


Return To Inbox 


X 


Select Conversation 


s 


Star Conversation 


r 


Reply 


a 


Reply All 


f 


Forward 


i 


Report Spam 


g followed by a 


Go To All Mail Folder 


g followed by s 


Go To Starred Folder 


g followed bye 
g followed by d 


Go To Contacts Folder 
Go To Drafts Folder 


g followed by i 


Go To Inbox 



Filters 

Filters let you apply rules to a mes- 
sage so it's handled a certain way de- 
pending on the email address, subject 
line, or other factors. To set up a filter, 
click Settings in the upper right of the 
screen, click the Filters tab, and click 
Create A New Filter. Enter the infor- 
mation you want to filter in the appro- 
priate text box or boxes (which include 
From, To, Subject, Has The Words, 
and Doesn't Have) and click Next Step. 
Now use the check boxes (such as Skip 
The Inbox and Star It, among others) 
to determine how you want Gmail to 
handle each message that contains the 
filter data you just entered. Click 
Create Filter when you are done, and 
remember that you can create as many 
filters as you like. To edit an existing 
filter, open the Filters tab and click Edit 
next to the filter's entry, or click Delete 
to completely disable the filter. 

Forwarding & POP Access 

The main downside to Gmail — and 

to all other Web-based 

email services — is that 
you must be connected 
to the Internet to read 
emails you've already 
received. Fortunately 
Google lets Gmail users 
forward messages and 
access their accounts 
using POP (Post Office 
Protocol), meaning it is 
possible to use an email 
client such as Outlook 
Express to compose and 
read messages when you 
are offline. 

To forward messages 
to a non-Gmail ac- 
count, click Settings and 
select the Forwarding 
And POP tab. If you 
want to forward in- 
coming messages to a 
different account, select 
the Forward A Copy Of 
Incoming Mail To radio 



button and type the email address 
you want to forward the messages to 
in the text box. If you want to keep 
copies of these messages in your 
Gmail account, select either Keep 
Gmail's Copy In The Inbox or 
Archive Gmail's Copy on the drop- 
down menu. If you want to delete all 
emails after they are forwarded select 
Trash Gmail's Copy instead. 

The POP Download section lets 
you set up the account for direct ac- 
cess to your Gmail messages via soft- 
ware such as Outlook Express. Click 
the Email POP For All Email radio 
button if you want to download all 
messages that are already in the ac- 
count in addition to all future mes- 
sages. Select the Enable POP Only For 
Mail That Arrives From Now On to 
prevent the software from accessing 
existing messages. Use the When 
Messages Are Accessed With POP 
drop -down menu to select what you 
want to do with the messages once 
you receive them, as described in the 
previous paragraph, and click Save 
Changes when you are done. 

You also must configure your email 
software to connect to the Gmail ac- 
count, and the procedure for that 
varies from program to program. 
Click Configuration Instructions in 
the Forwarding And POP tab for de- 
tailed instructions if you use Outlook, 
Eudora, or Netscape Mail. 

Don't Forget The Add-Ons 

Gmail apparently wasn't enough 
for Google, and they've enhanced the 
service with a helpful Gmail Notifier 
add-on (www. google. com/down- 
loads) along with integration with 
Google's Picasa 2 photo organization 
and sharing software (www. picasa 
.com). Keep a close watch at the 
Google and Gmail sites for more en- 
hancements, as Gmail is always 
evolving. There's no telling what fea- 
tures it will support by the time it is 
rolled out publicly. H 

by Tracy Baker 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 69 



Stay Connected 



Faster Than A 
Speeding Email 

Keep In Touch With Google Talk 




Remember the first time you 
used email? That strange 
feeling of sending a letter in- 
stantaneously to anyone you 
liked, all without having to pay 
postage? IM (Instant Messaging) soft- 
ware is designed to let you communi- 
cate with someone even faster than 
that, and all without having to spend 
a dime beyond the price of your 
Internet connection and perhaps the 
price of the IM client. As long as the 
people you want to chat with have the 
same software installed, you can let 
them know when you're online, send 
text messages back and forth in- 
stantly, and even have a voice chat if 
you have the right software. 

Google Talk (free; talk.google.com) 
is that software. It may not yet be as 
full-featured or as popular as some 
of the established instant-messaging 
programs, such as ICQ 5 (free; www 
.icq.com), Yahoo Messenger (free; 
messenger.yahoo.com), or MSN Mes- 
senger (free; messenger.msn.com), but 
it's definitely worth a look, and unlike 



many competing products it is also 
advertising- free. 

Basic Features 

Google Talk provides anyone with 
a PC and an Internet connection with 
instant IM and voice-chat capabilities. 
The service currently only lets you 
communicate with other people who 
use Google Talk and not with people 
who use other IM clients. 

IM lets you participate in what 
amounts to an email conversation. 
You type lines in a text box, press 
ENTER, and what you type instantly 
appears in a chat window on your 
screen and on the screens of any other 
Google Talk users you had selected be- 
fore sending the message. This window 
keeps a running log of the chat session 
so you can easily scroll through the 
conversation, and it's easy to message 
individuals or groups of people. 

The voice component of the service 
works quite a bit like a phone call and 
has terrific audio quality, but you need 



Google Talk 

■, hv: ■:■■ | Settings 1 Help 

ta.lP 

• Tracy Baker 
Available t 


You don't have 
to accept 
invitations from 
people who 


s 


teambak6riS3m3il.com vt silts to add 
you as a friend. Add as a friend? 
[ yes ) no 
C Baker (invited; 


want to add 
you to their 
Friends List. 





a microphone and speakers or a headset 
with a microphone to take advantage of 
this feature. Headsets are ideal because 
they provide the privacy of a typical 
phone call. Analog products, such as 
Plantronics' .Audio 40 ($24.95; www 
.plantronics.com), are an inexpensive 
option if your computer has a sound 
card with microphone and headphone 
jacks. But we recommend digital USB 
headsets, such as the Logitech Premium 
USB Headset 350 ($49.99; www.log 
itech.com), because they provide supe- 
rior sound quality and work with any 
computer that has a USB port. 

Sign Up 

You need an invitation- only Gmail 
account to use Google Talk, but those 
are very easy to come by these days 
and Google also recently established 
an automated system that lets any 
mobile phone user instantly receive a 
Gmail invitation. Just go to www 
.google.com/talk and click the Get An 
Account link. Enter your mobile 
phone number in the first text box, 
enter the word that is displayed in the 



~ 



General 

E . : :' 't :; 

Connection 



Inpi ■ : jphc'i-'e : ;.-:•■*■ 



Default Devi 



[J -t-.;o-"*; :s ■; ac>s; ■" z-zo-y-iz se-s : v ;-,- 



',::■ ; ' :a : o-f- - ■■ -c; sra d "cs 


JQiESS^^^^^^^H v 


Calls 


| Default Device 




13 


Unrnute speaker for 


nging 




Unrnute speaker and mi 


rophone; 


hen on a call 



] [ Cancel 



Be sure to let Google Talk manage the 
microphone sensitivity. 



70 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



second text box, and click Send Code. 
Google sends a text message to your 
cell phone that contains the code, 
which you can then enter on the next 
Web page that appears to activate 
your Gmail account. 

Once your Gmail account is up and 
running, go to www.google.com/talk 
again, only this time click Download 
Google Talk. You can save the in- 
stallation file to your Desktop and 
double-click its icon to proceed, or 
click Run when the Internet Explorer 
File Download dialog box appears to 
automatically download and install 
the software. 

When installation is complete, 
launch the program and a Sign In 
window appears. Enter your Gmail 
username in the Username box and 
your Gmail password in the Password 
box and click Sign In. If you don't want 
to do this every time you launch Google 
Talk, be sure to select the Remember 
Me On This Computer checkbox, but 
keep in mind this will let anyone using 
the computer access your account. 

Once your account is set up you can 
invite current Talk users to join your 
Friends List or nonusers to get started 
using Google Talk. Click Add Friend at 
the bottom of the Google Talk box, 
enter the email address of the person 
you want to invite (you can enter mul- 
tiple addresses in the box as long as 
each is separated using a semicolon), 
and click Next. You can also click the 
Choose From My Contacts button and 
easily add invitees from your Gmail 
Contacts list before clicking Next. 
Click Finish to return to Google Talk. 

Each invitation includes a Gmail 
account invitation so your friends can 
get connected right away. Note that 
the Gmail invitations are deducted 
from the number of invitations that 
are assigned to your Gmail account, 
but inviting other Gmail members 
doesn't count against this limit. 

Configuration 

To configure Google Talk, click 
Settings and select the General entry. If 







tcl K Talk t° more of your friends for free 

Send an invitation to the people you d like to talk to for free. Once they 
accept and download Google Talk, you II be able to talk to them 
mmediately. 

Pick from .our list of contacts, or enter an email address directly. To add 
more than one person at a time, separate the addresses with a comma. 




Add: 


rnrnmm 












Choose from my contacts... 












J Next» j [ Cancel 







You can invite others to use Google 
Talk, but they need a Gmail account. 

you want Google Talk to load each 
time Windows starts up, select the Start 
Automatically When Starting Windows 
checkbox, and if you want to use Gmail 
by default when you click email links, 
check the Open Gmail When I Click 
Email Links option. If you leave the 
latter checkbox blank, Windows will 
open your default email program, such 
as Outlook Express, instead of Gmail 
when you click an email link. 

In the Friends List section, click Sort 
Friends By Name if you want them 
listed that way instead of in the order 
in which you added them. Also, check 
the Hide Offline Friends checkbox to 
only display online users in the Google 
Talk interface. Another useful option 
is the Hide Gmail Contacts Not On 
My Friends List box, which keeps your 
Gmail contacts list from cluttering up 
the Google Talk interface. Clicking the 
Account Settings button takes you to 
the Google Accounts Web page, where 





Blocked 

Notifications 
Connection 




General 


: 5:*-; *-:!•"*; :■? ; , . , -s-s:?':"cV,'-:5;.! 
□ Open Gmoil v. hen I : ; ick on email link; 

□ Sort Friends bv name 

□ Hide offline Friends 

□ ~rs C--? :o-;*:;s -;■; o- •"■;=■■ z-:& _s; 


[ Account settings... j 










[ Help j 


| OK || Cancel | 



The General Settings let you tell 
Google Talk to start and log you in 
each time Windows loads. 



you can manage such information 
as your password, name, and other 
Gmail data. 

Choose the Blocked entry to access 
the list of names that you've removed 
from your Friends List (more on that 
later). To restore a contact to your 
Friends List, click the appropriate entry 
in the Name box and click Unblock. 

Google Talk saves a text file con- 
taining your recent chat sessions. If you 
don't want to save this information, 
choose the Privacy entry on the left 
and remove the check mark from the 
Save Recent Chat History checkbox. 
The program also automatically adds 
people that you email frequently via 
Gmail to your Friends List; to pre- 
vent this deselect the Add People I 
Communicate With Often To My 
Friends List checkbox. 

The Notifications entry on the left 
lets you tell Google Talk how to alert 
you when a new message or call comes 
in. If you want silent notifications, re- 
move the check marks from the Play 
Sounds options. If you only want sound 
and don't want pop-up text alerts, de- 
select the Show Notification options. 

Few home users will need to access 
the Connection entry, as it is only 
used if your computer requires a 
proxy to access the Internet. If this is 
the case at work, select the Use The 
Following Proxy radio button and ask 
your IT department for the host, port, 
and authentication information you 
need to enter in the appropriate fields. 

The Audio entry lets you adjust voice 
chat settings. Use the drop-down menu 
in the Input section to select your 
microphone or headset and for best re- 
sults fill in the Automatically Adjust 
Microphone Sensitivity checkbox. Also 
select the appropriate device in the Calls 
checkbox. (Use Default Device or your 
sound card if you want to listen using 
computer speakers.) 

Start Talking 

Now it's time to adjust availability 
settings to let others know whether 
you are available for chatting, busy, 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 71 



Stay Connected 



or anything in between, thanks to the 
ability to add custom messages. Click 
the Down arrow under your name to 
access the list and click a selection to 
activate it so that others see it on 
their computers. To create a custom 
Available message, click the Custom 
Message entry with the green circle 
next to it. To create a custom Busy 
message, click the Custom Message 
entry with the red circle next to it. 
Type the message you'd like other 
users to see, press ENTER, and the 
new message is activated and will be 
available in your message drop -down 
menu in the future. There is no way 
to edit or delete an individual custom 
message (changing the text creates a 
new entry), but you can delete all of 
your custom messages by clicking 
Clear Custom Messages in the drop- 
down menu. 

There are a few other important 
entries accessible via this menu. Sign 
Out signs you completely out of 
Google Talk, which makes you ap- 
pear Offline to other Google Talk 
users and also lets you sign in under a 
different account, which is handy if 
multiple people use the same com- 
puter. The Show When I Am Chat- 
ting option is turned on when clicked 
(this is indicated by a check mark 
next to the entry) and displays a key- 
board icon in the other person's chat 
window whenever you are typing, 
showing them that you're in the 
process of responding. 

You can right- click entries in your 
Friends List to open a menu with a 
few additional options. Click Rename 
to change the contact's name on your 
list or click Remove to add them to 
the Blocked Contacts list. 

Instant Messaging 

To send instant messages, click the 
name of any contact in your Friends 
List and a chat window appears. Type 
what you want to say in the text box 
at the bottom of the window, press 
ENTER, and Talk sends the message. 
It also appears in your chat window 



SoogleTalk UK 


Custom status 


1 1 

talP 

9 Tracy Baker 

On the Phone -Trv Later t 


messages let you 
give people 


E 


• Available 

• Custom message... 


J 


specific reasons 


« On the Phone -Try Later 

e Busy 

« Custom message ... 


for being 
unavailable. 


I Sign out 

w" Show when 1 am chatting 
Clear custom messages 





along with any replies you receive, 
and you can use the scroll bar to 
scroll backward and forward through 
a conversation if it extends beyond 
the chat window. 

It is possible to initiate multiple 
conversations at once; just click 
multiple contact names to open sep- 
arate chat windows for each person. 
Talk automatically stacks these win- 
dows and lets you rearrange or move 
them to other parts of the screen by 
dragging and dropping them. Click 
the gray bar at the top of a chat win- 
dow to collapse it, making room for 
more windows. When you finish 
chatting, click the X button in the 
upper-right corner of the window to 
end the connection. 

A contacts who is online and avail- 
able for chatting has a green icon next 
to her name. A red icon indicates that 
she is busy, and a gray icon indicates 
that she is offline. A yellow icon ap- 
pears if she is online but her com- 
puter has been idle for more than 10 
minutes. To contact someone who is 
busy, offline, or idle, click the Email 
button in the chat window or the en- 
velope icon next to her name to send 
her an email. 





Google Talk 


□IE 






ta.lP* 

• Tracy Baker 
talking t 


Settings 1 Help 
1 


M Email I End Call 


[ Mute j «k *> ,,lll 

Welcome to Google Talk! 

teambaker is online right now (online friends have a 
green dot). Tr. did in;: cii C all aljo.e to make a 
call. Type below and : ess the Er tef 1 ey to send an 
instant message. 
CallingteambakeriSigmail.com at 1:21 PM on 


• teambaker 


t. 


C Baker (invited} 


M 


Add friend 


■ 





Click the phone icon to call someone, 
then click End Call when the call is over. 



Voice Chat 

If you and the person you want to 
talk to have headsets (or microphones 
and computer speakers), you can ini- 
tiate a voice call by clicking the tele- 
phone handset icon next to her name 
or by clicking the Call button in the 
chat window. Your computer and 
her computer will ring just like tele- 
phones until she answers the call by 
clicking the Answer button or denies 
the call by clicking the Ignore button. 
Click Mute to mute the call and click 
End Call to hang up. 

Integrating Google Talk 

There are many popular IM pro- 
grams, and there are nearly as many 
popular programs designed to consoli- 
date all of those IM accounts under a 
single, unified interface so users can 
avoid opening scads of windows at 
once to chat with their friends. It is easy 
to incorporate Google Talk into pro- 
grams such as Trillian Pro 3 ($25; 
www.ceruleanstudios.com), Gaim 
(free; gaim.sourceforge.net), and Psi 
(free; psi.affinix.com) as long as you 
know what settings to use. Google has 
detailed integration instructions for a 
variety of popular consolidation pro- 
grams at www.google.com/support/talk 
in the Third Party Applications section. 
Click the More link in that section for a 
complete list. 

More To Come 

Google Talk was still in beta at press 
time, meaning it is in limited public 
release but that Google is still working 
out bugs and adding new features. The 
company has already announced that 
it is working on ways to let Google 
Talk users communicate with users of 
other software, and that it would like 
to add rich text features in the future 
to let users spice up the look of their 
messages. As with Gmail, it looks as 
though Google is just beginning to tap 
Google Talk's potential. Qjs] 

by Tracy Baker 



72 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



Get The 
Message? 

Google Groups Makes It Easy To Share 
Interests Online 




What do an Indonesian acoustic guitar player and a 
NASCAR fan have in common? No, there's no 
punch line. You have something in common with 
them too, provided each of you has Internet access. 
You're all able to go to one online meeting hub to chat, trade 
advice, and gather information on hundreds of thousands of 
diverse topics. 

Google Groups is a free Web- and email-based forum that lets 
you communicate with your next-door neighbors and faraway 
strangers through discussion groups. Groups are arranged by 
subject matter, and they range from the practical to the esoteric. 
No matter what you're interested in, Google Groups is certain to 
offer a subject group that fascinates you. 

Let's Get Started 

The best way to get a feel for Google groups is to dive right in 
and browse the site. Head to www.google.com and click the 



Groups button to go to the Google 
Groups Beta site. The site is officially a 
test version, and the Google spokes- 
person we talked to did not give us an 
official release date. We ran into a 
couple minor glitches when trying it 
out, but overall Google Groups is 
well- organized and easy to use. 

Given the number of groups that 
Google Groups contains, the home 
page is deceptively simple. Navigation 
links to other Google sites are located 
just below the banner, beneath which 
sits a search engine for searching 
Google Groups only. (If you want to 
run a Web search, you'll need to return 
to Google's home page.) Below the 
search box you'll find a login area, fol- 
lowed by a list of topics. Topics are 
grouped into broad categories, and 
they include Arts And Entertainment, 
Computers, Home, Recreation, Science 
And Technology, Business And Fi- 
nance, Health, News, Regions And 
Places, and Societies And Humanities. 

Pick any topic, and you'll see the 
topic's Group Directory page, which 
has a consistent look and feel across 
each topic. For a change of pace, we 
forego checking out the Computers 
category and select Recreation, where 
we see an index list of nearly two 
dozen topics ranging from Antiques 
to Guns to Travel. The numbers in 



Google™ 

CJ BETA 



Web Images Groups ::|le Local more » 

| j Search Group's! ^djrcupssea^ 



Learn more about 

Create, search, and browse groups to discuss and share ideas. 



Members: Sign in ■ Quick 

New users: Join " Follow your bookmarked (£j) topics ■ Create new groups 



Recreation 

...:'••-■.■ 



Health 



- 

©2005 Google- Searching 1.000.000.000 message; 



Google Groups lets you communicate with hundreds of 
thousands of people around the world. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 73 



Stay Connected 



Accounts*--' 



parentheses next to each 
topic indicate how many 
groups are devoted to 
that topic, and they can 
be in the single digits 
or much, much larger. 
Groups are also indexed 
by Region, Language, 
Activity, and Members. 

For instance, at the 
time this article was writ- 
ten — and because groups 
are so active, the numbers 
are certain to change by 
the time you read this — 
the Recreation category 
included more than 400 
groups based in Europe 
and 56 in Canada. And 
you don't have to be an 
English-speaker to take 
part, either; there are 
Japanese, Serbo-Croatian, 
and Portuguese groups, 
to name just a few. The 
index also shows how many groups 
are active versus those that are a bit 
dormant, and how large the groups 
tend to be. Perhaps surprisingly, most 
of the recreation groups have fewer 
than 10 members, although a few are 
practically virtual arenas with more 
than a thousand members each. 

Okay, enough with the numbers. 
It's the groups themselves that make 
the site so interesting. Below the 
broad index list is the first page of the 
group listings. For example, in the 
Recreation category's main page, we 
see a woodworking group, a poker 
group, and a video arcade group, 
among others. We checked out the 
woodworking group, where we found 
a plea for help with a warped tabletop, 
a recommendation for sandpaper, 
and tips on running air compressors. 

The first 15 groups are on the first 
page, with other group listings on sub- 
sequent pages, and the groups appear 
to be in no particular order. You may 
see that some of the groups have 
somewhat confusing names, such as 
rec. games. frp.dnd, which is a hold- 
over from the earlier days of the 



^jO Ovl€ Create a Google Account - Google Groups 



Google Groups: Create a Google Account 

password, you 

Do you already use Gmail, Google Groups, Personalized Search, Google Alerts, or Froogle Shopping List? 

If so, you aire-- to use Google Groups. 



Required information for Google account 

Youi anient email address : 



:;.., "':. v., '• :/' : ■ ■■■■ "A' • ,-" : '.•" ■•:■■■■ ' : 



Choose a passwmd : 



Re-entei pass 



n of 8 characters in length. 



Get started with Google Groups 



Nick name: . 

Wonl Veiiiii atioi 



L 



Type the characters you see in t ! 



tostt 



You must accep' Google account. 



....... .■..,,.. .'.:.'.'...':... 



by exact phrase or by ex- 
cluding words, and you 
can search by subject line 
or message date. 

Join & Subscribe 



To participate fully in group discussions, you'll need to create a 
Google account and log in. 



Internet. (See "The History Of Usenet" 
sidebar for more information.) 

While it's interesting to browse the 
groups to see what's there, certainly 
you aren't going to be interested in all 
of them. That's where the search en- 
gine comes in handy. Given Google's 
popularity as a search engine, it 
should come as no surprise that 
Google includes a useful tool for 
searching Google Groups, too. Head 
back to the Groups home page and 
click the Search Groups button or 
find it at the top of almost any Google 
Groups page. Type in a keyword and 
click the Search button. In our ex- 
ample, we typed the keyword mort- 
gage, and we turned up 151 groups, 
including Mortgage Rates, Real Estate 
And Mortgage Service Marketing 
Focus Group, and Mortgage Loans. 

You may also want to tailor your 
results by taking advantage of the ad- 
vanced search feature. Next to the 
Search button is a small text link, 
Advanced Groups Search. Click it, and 
you'll have much more control over 
the results Google returns to you. 
For instance, you can search messages 



While you were brows- 
ing through the site, you 
may have come across 
a message in a specific 
group that tells you only 
members are allowed to 
post to that group. Yes, 
you can access any of the 
public content on Google, 
but some groups have re- 
strictions on how you can 
interact with a group, and 
there are other features 
that you can use only if 
you have created a Google 
account. To participate 

fully, you'll need to both 

join the service and sub- 
scribe to various groups. 

To "join" Google Groups means 
that you create an account with 
Google. (If you already have a Google 
Account, such as when you signed up 
for a Froogle Shopping List or Google 
Answers, you can skip this step. And 
Gmail users can sign on to the Google 
Groups service by submitting their 
usernames and passwords.) On the 
home page, click the Join link next to 
New Users. Enter your email address, 
choose a password, and retype it for 
verification. Create a nickname if 
you'd like and type the characters you 
see on the screen into the Word 
Verification box; this helps protect 
against automated programs signing 
users up for unwanted email. Then, 
click the Create My Account button. 

Within seconds, you'll receive an 
email message asking you to verify 
your email address and activate your 
account. Click the link in the email, 
and you'll be transported to a Web 
page that thanks you for verifying 
your account. You're now an official 
Google Groups member. Head back 
to the home page, click the Members: 



74 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



Sign In link, enter your email address 
and password, and click Sign In. 

Joining Google Groups doesn't 
mean that you can access all groups, 
however. Some groups are restricted, 
which means that you must be invited 
to join them in order to participate, 
and that includes basic tasks such as 
reading messages. Other groups, 
while not completely private, ask you 
to become a member before you can 
perform tasks such as posting mes- 
sages to other members. To partici- 
pate in these types of groups, you 
need to subscribe to them. 

The first time you sign in to Google 
Groups, you'll see a My Groups page 
listing all your groups — at this point, 
the list is empty — and a search engine 
for locating groups. Once you've 
located a group that interests you, 
you're ready to join it. Depending 
upon the type of group, you'll see ei- 
ther a Subscribe To This Group link 
or a Join This Group link at the top of 
the group's home page. Click this link. 

On the left of the sign-up page, 
you'll see a series of radio buttons that 
give you options for reading group 
messages. These options vary by group, 
but they can include No Email (you 
read the messages on the Web site), 
Abridged Email (you receive a sum- 
mary of the messages posted each day), 
Digest Email (up to 25 messages are 
bundled into one message and shipped 
to your email inbox), and Email (each 
message is sent directly to your inbox). 
Select the desired radio button and 
type the nickname you'd like to use. 

In addition, you may find that 
joining some groups requires moder- 
ator approval. Some groups are mod- 
erated, meaning that a person reads 
and approves your messages before 
they are posted to the group. If a 
group moderator requests that you 
explain why you want to be in the 
group, you'll find a place to type that 
information. Click the Apply To This 
Group button. Once your subscrip- 
tion has been accepted, the group 
listing appears on the page you see 
when you sign in to Google Groups. 



Oops — we made a mistake. We 
signed up for a promising-looking 
group related to jobs in our home 
state, but it turned out to be packed 
with hot, hot, hot money-making of- 
fers and thinly disguised ads for 
pyramid schemes. (Do you really be- 
lieve you can receive up to 105% 
rebates on all your purchases?) 
Fortunately, it's easy to unsubscribe 
from groups. At the top of the group's 
main page, click the Unsubscribe Or 
Change Membership link, and on the 
membership page, click the Unsub- 
scribe button. 

Read Messages 

OK, we're back in business. We've 
found a group we're interested in, and 
it's on to reading its content. If you 
chose to view message by email, you'll 
see them in your email inbox. But if 
you chose No Email or if you want to 
view messages on the Web in addition 
to viewing them by email, you can do 
so on the Google Groups site. 

The entire Google Groups database 
contains more than a billion mes- 
sages — that's right, billion with a 



"b" — so you might expect that the 
groups may be a tad difficult to navi- 
gate. But for the most part they aren't, 
once you understand what you're 
looking at. 

Message topics are organized by 
date, with the most recent topic 
listed first. In this case, topic refers to 
the subject line of the message, not 
the broad category the group falls 
into. For example, consider a group 
devoted to discussing a specific NHL 
hockey team. The group falls under 
the Recreation category and Sports 
topic (it appears as Recreation > 
Sports in the Google category 
listing), but when we're talking 
about topics here, we're talking 
about messages devoted to specific 
subjects, such as the team's signing 
of a new player or a discussion of the 
general manager's competency. 

On a group's home page, you'll see 
two links near the top: Viewing Titles 
Only and View With Message Text. 
The first time you use the service, we 
recommend you click Viewing Titles 
Only because this lets you see many of 
the various topics at a glance. We also 
recommend you click Sorted By Date 



Netiquette (Internet Etiquette) 



Every society has customs and norms 
for communicating, and the Internet 
is no different. If you're relatively new to 
communicating with online groups, or 
you simply want to brush up on your 
manners, here are a few tips. 

Look before you leap. The best way to 
learn how to communicate appropri- 
ately online is to watch what others are 
doing. Read numerous posts to get a feel 
for a group's style and content before 
you jump in with your own comments. 
And, be sure to do a thorough search of 
a topic before you create a post. There 
are few things more annoying to long- 
time users than to see the exact same 
discussion appear ad nauseam. 

Avoid advertising overtones. Sure, you 
have the perfect doohickey for a widget- 
loving group, but folks aren't online to 



hear your sales pitch. People are increas- 
ingly sensitive to unsolicited commercial 
email, and what's perceived as spam may 
get you banned from a group. 

DON'T TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LET- 
TERS. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE 
SHOUTING. Enough said. 

Remember you're communicating 
with real people. The old saying goes 
that on the Internet, no one knows 
you're a dog. It's intended to mean that 
almost anyone can go online and say 
anything, but it's also a good reminder 
that there are real people on the other 
side of your computer screen. When you 
have a difference in opinion on a topic 
you feel passionately about, take a deep 
breath and remember the other person 
has feelings that go with those (in your 
humble opinion) misguided thoughts. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 75 



Goude 

Groups*?"" 



Create a group 

^ Set up group fTJAdd members 
Group name 

I 



Gioii|) email address 






<inni|> URL: 

Gmu|> descii|>tiH>n 



: : ■ ' '." ' . . . . 

.: "'■..■ ' ' "■". ■■■■■.'. 

Access level 

O Public - .■ 
messages. 

O Announcer : lyone can read the archives. Anyone can join, but only moderate 

can post messages. 

O Restricted - People must be invited to join the group and post or read messages. Your 



■ ■ , _ . ' 



Start your own group and keep it as public or as private as you wish. 



Of First Message because this will 
make it easier to read through a 
thread, or topic, the first time. 

Click the topic line of a message 
that interests you. In the tree on the 
left, you'll see a list of all the messages 
related to that topic, including who 
created the post and when it was 
posted. In the main body of the page, 
you'll see the messages themselves. If 
the thread is a relatively long one, the 
messages exist on more than one 
page, and you can use the Start Of 
Topic, Older, Newer, and End Of 
Topic links at the top or the bottom 
of the page to move through all the 
messages. Each message has a reply 
link at its bottom, and you can use 
this link to post a message to the en- 
tire group. To reply directly to the au- 
thor, to forward the message, or to 
perform other actions, click the Show 
Options link at the top of each mes- 
sage and click the desired task. 

One of the neat features of Google 
Groups is the ability it gives you to 
track topics. Click the star next to a 
topic, and it turns yellow; you've just 
added the topic to your list of fa- 
vorites. When you next log on to the 
site, new posts to that topic appear 
on your My Groups page. Tired of 



that subject? Click the star again to 
deactivate it. 

Another way to track messages of 
interest is to turn on a Group Alert. 
Google lets you input a keyword or 
keywords, and when messages appear 
that contain those words, Google 
will send you an email notice. Go to 
www.google.com/alerts?hl=en or click 
the Groups Alerts icon in the left nav- 
igation pane of almost any Groups 
page and type the keyword in the 
Search Terms box. In the Type drop- 
down menu, select Groups, and in the 
How Often drop-down menu, select 
the frequency of the alert, such as As 
It Happens or Once A Week. Lastly, 
click the Create Alert button and just 
sit back and wait for messages to ap- 
pear in your email box. 

When you're ready to start a new 
topic, return to the group's home 
page and click the Start A New Topic 
link at the top. A prepopulated mes- 
sage screen appears with your name, 
the group's name, and your language 
filled in. Type a subject line, type the 
message, click the Preview button and 
edit your message, and click the Post 
Message button. That's all there is to 
it. (Some types of groups also let you 
communicate with the entire group 



by sending email to one address, 
which we'll discuss in the next section 
on creating groups.) You likely won't 
be able to do this if a group is a 
Public-Usenet group. Usenet groups, 



The History Of Usenet 



Way back when in 1979, a group 
of students at Duke University 
found a way to communicate among 
computers by posting messages to a 
network. That network was called 
Usenet, and it blossomed into a place 
where users could discuss tens of 
thousands of topics. Topics fell into 
high-level domains, such as Sci (science- 
related) and Comp (computer-related); 
groups had names such as altartcrime 
and comp.unix.programming; and 
users had special software, called news 
readers, to access Usenet material. 
Usenet contains gems such as this one 
from Tim Berners-Lee, posted in 1991: 

" In article <6...@cernvax.cern.ch> I 
promised to post a short summary of 

the World Wide Web project The 

WWW project merges the techniques 
of information retrieval and hypertext 
to make an easy but powerful global 

information system The project 

started with the philosophy that 
much academic information should 
be freely available to anyone. It aims 
to allow information sharing within 
internationally dispersed teams, and 
the dissemination of information by 
support groups." 

As the Internet became more acces- 
sible to the public, so did these post- 
ings. Deja News, which has since folded, 
began storing Usenet posts, and the 
Deja.com service allowed users to 
search, respond, and post newsgroup 
messages through an easy-to-use Web 
site. In early 2001 Google announced it 
was acquiring Deja.com's Usenet 
Discussion Service, which at the time in- 
cluded about 500 million archived mes- 
sages dating back six years. Google has 
continued to add more Usenet content 
to its Google Groups service, and it now 
boasts more than a billion messages. I 



76 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



also called news- 
groups, resemble 



Google 

Groups Oseta 



<jM>l||>S 



My starred <£? topics 
My recent groups 



Recently visited [clearl 



virtual online bul- 
letin boards where 
you post messages 
for everyone else to 
see. You used to do 
this with software 
called a newsreader. 
Now that Google 

has acquired Usenet 

and its archives, 
you participate in discussions through 
the Google Groups service on the 
Web and not with your own software. 

Before you start a new topic, 
though, it's a good idea to search the 
messages to see if someone has al- 
ready created a thread for this topic. 
On the group's main page, type a key- 
word and click the Search This Group 
button. You can sort returned mes- 
sages by date or by relevance and click 
a message to see other messages in the 
same topic. 

And, in the "everyone makes mis- 
takes" department, there may come 
a time when you create a post and 
realize you want to remove it. While 
you won't be able to yank it out of a 
recipient's email box, you can re- 
move it from the archives on the 
Web site. Log onto the site and lo- 
cate the post. Click its Show Options 
link. One of the options, available 
only to the poster, is Remove. Click 
it, click any confirmation buttons, 
and your unwanted posting is on its 
way to oblivion. 

Create A Group 

Google Groups is a great way to 
carry on conversations with strangers, 
but it's also useful for communicating 
with small groups of friends and 
family members. For instance, sup- 
pose you're a member of a chess club 
or other group that meets locally. 
When plans change or you need to get 
a message to the entire group, you 
could try a phone tree or email list, 
but the process can be lengthy, and 
it puts the burden on the sender. 



My starred # topics 

I - I of I 

-£? Immediate Jobs for Bilingual/Spanish-speaking professionals. 

Simi - Aug 5, 3:52 am rado Jobs 

.::•.: i;r- " . -',::'- "' ■ ':::".' :j ■ ■ ■" '. ;• j ', ' ' ", : .'". ;.:;';.•■ ', . '. ■ , ,;; 

'■''.'■"' ... ■' ■' ..'.'...' I;' ■'. . . 'V' ' " . . ..'' 

. : :.. . " ' ... .'" ■ .'.'".' 

1 .-■:. ,'■ • '. .i 



categories and States. Take a look 



Star important topics, so they don't escape your notice. 



Instead, you could use a Google 
Group. You might also want to create 
a group to find and communicate 
with people on an obscure topic. 

To create your own group, go to 
the left navigation pane on almost any 
Google Groups page and click the 
Create A New Group link toward the 
bottom of the page. First, you'll need 
to determine a name for the group. 
Type one in the Group Name box, 
and Google will automatically create 
an email address based on the group 
name. This is the address that you can 
use to communicate to the group by 
sending email, instead of or in addi- 
tion to creating public postings, de- 
pending on how the group is set up 
and how individuals elect to receive 
postings. Enter a group description in 
the text box. 

One of the key decisions you need 
to make is how public you want the 
group to be. Do you want to approve 
postings before they are sent? Do you 
want everyone to be able to see the 
group messages or only members? 
Do you want to set this up as one- 
way communication from you to 
the group? Depending on your pref- 
erence, you will select the radio 
button for the appropriate group 
type. A Public group is one where 
anyone can read the archives, and 
members can post messages. An 
Announcement-Only group is one 
where anyone can read messages, but 
only the moderator posts. And a Re- 
stricted group is one where you invite 
people to join, and only they can post 
and read messages; your group is 
virtually invisible to the rest of the 



Google Group com- 
munity. Choose the 
preferred radio but- 
ton and click Create 
My Group. 

The next step is 
to add members to 
the group. You can 
do so yourself by 
typing their email 

addresses in the Add 

Members text box, 
but to protect yourself from being ac- 
cused by friends and family members 
of spamming, you may opt to choose 
the Invite radio button instead. In this 
case, each potential member receives 
an email invitation and must respond 
before becoming an official member. 
Select a Default Subscription Type — 
the default value of Email is just 
fine — and create a welcome message. 
Click Done. 

Not surprisingly, once the group 
is created, as the owner you'll be 
able to manage it. On your My 
Groups Page, click the Manage but- 
ton next to the group name. You can 
perform a variety of tasks here, in- 
cluding changing how others access 
the group, whether the group is 
listed in the Google archives or di- 
rectory, and whether messages are 
moderated. You can also view the 
membership directory and, when the 
group has served its purpose, re- 
move it entirely. 

Watch Your Privacy 

It's a big world out there, and it 
will take some time for you to ex- 
plore it through Google Groups. But 
know that as you do, no one will be 
able to exploit your privacy. The site 
lets you hide your email address so 
that a spammer can't collect it. So if 
an email lands in your inbox from an 
Indonesian guitar player claiming 
you've won free NASCAR tickets, 
you can rest assured that Google 
Groups isn't the cause. Qjs] 

by Heidi Anderson 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 77 



Stay Connected 



iii 



gle Mobile 

Google Comes To The Small Screen 




Google knows it's popular. It 
knows getting things done 
becomes difficult when 
you're without the luxury of 
its search- engine services. And Google 
knows that it can follow you wherever 
you go, at least if you have a Web- 
ready mobile phone or PDA. If you 
have such a device, you're the target 
audience for Google Mobile, a small- 
screen version of Google's Web site. 
With Google Mobile you can find all 
sorts of crucial information, whether 
it's the weather forecast, current 
news, the address for the nearby Papa 
John's, a photo of the latest Chrysler, 
or an entire encyclopedia article 
about Abraham Lincoln; in other 
words, almost anything. 

We'll explain how Google Mobile 
fits into today's world of mobile de- 
vices and competing services, whether 
your device is capable of using the 
site, and how to use Google Mobile to 
find what you need. We'll also pro- 
vide a little background information 
about how the site works compared 
to similar sites. 



Booming Business 

Success for the mobile Internet 
search business depends on two 
things: more people buying Web-en- 
abled handhelds and more people be- 
coming interested in content that's 
optimized for those devices. On the 
device side, research firm Gartner 
(www.gartner.com) announced in 
August 2005 that PDA sales are on the 
rise. Gartner also predicted in July 
2005 that the global market for smart- 
phones (mobile phones that combine 
cell phone functionality with features 



Google Mobile 
offers a clean, tiny 
interface that's 
really a portal to 
the big, wide 
Web; from here 
you can search 
for full Web sites, 
mobile Web sites, 
pictures, and 
local information. 




C3«S 



usually associated with PDAs) will see 
53.3 million units sold in 2005 and 
swell to sales of 278.7 million in 2009. 
Anticipating success on the content 
side of things is a bit trickier. Using the 
Web on mobile phones and PDAs pro- 
vides neither the quickest nor the most 
thorough results, at least not compared 
to what you're used to getting from the 
Internet using a full-fledged browser 
on your desktop computer. That chal- 
lenge is evident in an M Metrics (www 
.mmetrics.com) survey from March 
2005, which found that only 12.7% of 
mobile subscribers used their Web -en- 
abled phone or PDA to access news 
and information through a browser. 
On the other hand, a Jupiter Research 
(www.jupiterresearch.com) report 
from February 2005 projected that mo- 
bile content would generate $1 billion 
in revenues in 2005 and more than 
double that amount by 2009. So it's 
possible that as content grows, usage 
will grow along with it. 

Late Bloomer 

With increasing device sales, a 
growing number of Web sites opti- 
mized their pages for viewing on 
those devices' tiny screens. As busi- 
nesses warmed to revenue-generating 
possibilities, such as advertising and 
charging users for premium content, 
major Web portals such as Yahoo! 
(www.yahoo.com) and Microsoft's 
MSN (www.msn.com) were quick to 
get involved. Although far from being 



If you want to show off your 
new car but 
don't have a 
photo of it or if 
you want to stare 
longingly at the 
car you wish you 
could buy, 
Google Mobile's 
Image search 
option is the 
perfect portable 
way to go. 




78 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



Search By Numbers 



A word is often easier to remember than a cluster of numbers, which is why some 
organizations use phone numbers that match their names. The fictional GET- 
ACME is a good example, where on a numeric keypad you'd actually press 438-2263 to 
make the call, but as long as you remember GET-ACME, you're good to go. Google 
Mobile wants you to have that concept in mind when performing certain searches on 
its WML (Wireless Markup Language) page, www.google.com/wml. For example, when 
you type 68742 Google translates the search as one for the keyword "music." 

To use this feature, access www.google.com/wml and select either Number Entire 
Web or Number Mobile Web. With either selection you can use numeric search; the 
difference is in the results. Number Entire Web does just what it says: It searches the en- 
tire Internet. Number Mobile Web, by contrast, serves up cell-phone friendly results, 
which are shorter for easier navigation. On-screen buttons also help you navigate. I 



w^p® 



■» h ttp: //www. aoa qle c om/ wml? p 

Google 

Search Options 

Entire Web 

Number Entire Web 

Mobile Web 
Number Mobile Web 

Go ta URL 

Language Options 

Help 

[ Back ] 



wmi?p (G^l 



^fr® BffffiE] 



jangle 1-5: 
Cinemqrk.com 



? hnp ;// ww.qo ogl e.tom / wrnl ?hN at te n Ta matoe s 
Hollywood.com 



Mobile Web 
Search Options 



prev j( Search ) 



O 5J3B®fillTi 



'http://ww.google.com/wml7w (Go\ 



ianada.com 
'JextS... 



~X prev ][ NextS j 



a comprehensive mobile Web portal, 
MSN Mobile (mobile.msn.com) ar- 
rived early, in June 1999. Less than a 
year later, in May 2000, Yahoo! 
launched Yahoo! Everywhere, a ser- 
vice more akin to Google Mobile than 
Microsoft's offering, and the pre- 
cursor to today's popular Yahoo! 
Mobile (mobile.yahoo.com). 

Google wasn't ready to join the 
crowd until March 2005, when Google 
Mobile (mobile.google.com) made its 
debut. And it wasn't until June 17, 
2005, that Google brought Web search 
to the table. Google Mobile's impressive 
comprehensiveness, however — the fact 
that it attempts to serve the same 8 bil- 
lion-plus Web pages to your handheld 
that it serves to your desktop PC, not 
just select portions of the Web — would 
seem to make up for its late arrival. 

What You Need 

To use Google Mobile on your PDA 
or mobile phone, you must have a 
Web browser installed on the device. 



If you select Number 
Mobile Web on Google 
Mobile's main WML 
(Wireless Markup 
Language) page, you 
can do quick numeric 
keypad searches; in this 
example, we typed 
668437 for movies. 



Popular browsers include Microsoft's 
Pocket Internet Explorer (www.mi 
crosoft.com), Qualcomm's Eudora- 
Web Browser (www.eudora.com), and 
Opera's self-named browser for Win- 
dows Mobile or its newer Opera Mini 
(www.opera.com). Of course, the de- 
vice must also support the browser. If 
you're not sure what your PDA or 
phone is capable of when it comes to 
Internet access, check the device itself 
or the accompanying manual. 

Devices that support a Web brows- 
er typically come with a browser al- 
ready installed. The Treo 600 and 
Treo 650 smartphones from Palm 
(www.palm.com), for example, ship 
with the Blazer Web Browser installed 
and ready to use. Similarly, Web- 
capable BlackBerry devices from 
Research In Motion (www.rim.com) 
come with the proprietary Black- 
Berry Browser. For this article we 
used a Treo 650 and the Blazer Web 
Browser 2.0. For screen shots we used 
PdaReach 1.52 from June Fabrics 
(www.junefabrics.com) . 



Call On Google 

To get started with Google Mobile, 
simply open the Web browser on your 
device and access the Web address 
www.google.com/xhtml. This launches 
the version of Google that uses 
XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Mark- 
up Language), a form of the more fa- 
miliar HTML code that Web designers 
use to create pages viewable on a va- 
riety of devices, such as a phone's tiny 
screen. You won't see on your mobile 
phone the full version of Web pages 
that you're used to seeing on a desktop 
computer because Google runs the 
pages through its own WML (Wireless 
Markup Language) proxy server, 
which formats large-screen pages so 
that small screens can handle them 
more easily. The typical LCD (liquid- 
crystal display) on a handheld device 
offers a 150 x 150-pixel resolution, and 
if you tried to view a full-size Web 
page on a screen that small, you'd have 
to do a lot of scrolling up, down, and 
sideways. You can also select the 
Mobile Web radio button prior to 
searching if you want to stick with 
Web sites that are already optimized 
for handhelds. 

If your browser doesn't support the 
main www.google.com/xhtml page, try 
accessing www.google.com/wml. This 
WML version of the search page offers 
access to both the complete Web 
searches found on the XHTML search 
page, as well as mobile Web searches for 
phones that support WAP (Wireless 
Application Protocol) 1.2 (a standard 
that lets different types of wireless de- 
vices communicate across common 
networks). Your phone might support 
both the XHTML and WML pages, so 
try them to see what works best for you. 
The benefit of using the WML page is 
that you can use the number pad on de- 
vices that lack keyboards to perform 
searches; see the "Search By Numbers" 
sidebar for more information. 

Big Searches, Small Interface 

Although there's no getting around 
the limitations of the tiny screen size, 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 79 



Stay Connected 



Google Mobile marks the most signif- 
icant step yet toward putting the en- 
tire Web in the palm of your hand in 
a format that's easy for small devices 
to manage. You might be annoyed to 
find that some Google sites and ser- 
vices are absent from Google Mobile. 
However, many of them are available 
through Google SMS (Short Message 
Service); check out "Message Marvel" 
on page 81 for details. As of press 
time, here's a partial list of items that 
Google Mobile does not support: 

• Calculator (Google Mobile doesn't 

include the same calculator as does 
Google) 

• Currency Conversion (if you search 

a conversion string, such as 10 USD 
in GBP, Google Mobile searches the 
Web but doesn't do the conversion) 

• Gmail Beta (mail.google.com; 
Google's email service isn't yet 
ready for Google Mobile) 

• Google Maps Beta (maps. google 

.com; however, search Google 
Local Beta and, depending on what 
you're looking for, Google Mobile 
often provides a map to help you 
find your way) 

• Movies (if you search a movie name, 

Google Mobile doesn't provide 



The Froogle Mobile Googler 



If you haven't tried Google's full- 
sized Froogle Beta Web site 
(froogle.google.com), try it out be- 
fore you make your next significant 
purchase. The site helps you find the 
lowest prices for goods from all 
kinds of online retailers. If you like 
what you see, try out the mobile ver- 
sion of Froogle (wml.froogle.com) 
the next time you find yourself spon- 
taneously shopping. 

The mobile version doesn't provide 
live links to the online retailers it cites, 
but it does provide the same price list- 
ings you'll find on the Froogle beta 
site. We tested a few searches ranging 
from accordions to Monet prints to 
Frank Zappa CDs, and the mobile 
Froogle worked as advertised. I 



nutshell information and a search 
box for finding local showtimes) 

• Stock Quotes (we were surprised to 

find that this feature didn't make it 
to Google Mobile) 

On the other hand, you might be 
surprised at just how much you can 
do on the small screen. We can't 
begin to tell you how to explore 
more than 8 billion Web pages, so do 
your own exploring and see what 
Google Mobile can deliver. Here's a 
list of shortcuts and services that 
work well on Google Mobile as of 
press time: 

• Definitions (to find definitions for a 

word, in the search box type define 
followed by the word) 

• Google Local Beta (this is especially 

nifty for mobile users; select the 
Local radio button, and in the 
search box type a business or per- 
son's name followed by the city and 
two -letter state abbreviation) 

• PhoneBook (you can type a last name, 

city, state; a business name, city, 
state; or a complete phone number, 
including the area code, and bring 
up the same listings on Google 
Mobile as you'd get using Google) 



jB®^lLi| 



http://www.qooqle.com/xhtml?(Gol 

Go igle 





Although not nearly 
the same as the full- 
fledged Froogle beta, 
the mobile version of 
Froogle (wml.froogle 
.com) lets you search 
everything from 
accordions (shown 
here) to Zappa and 
compare prices. 



davinci s near lincoln ne 
(Results 1 - 10 of about 40. ) 



o ^EKS^lLi 



h S f 



? 



^ 



*" http://www.qooqle.com/xhtml?(Go) 

A. Davinci's Italian Sidewalk 

1431 S 33rd St 
Lincoln, NE 
(402) 434-3300 



Zoom In Zoom Out 
North 



0.3 mi W 

B. DaVinci's Delivers 

44th & 
incoln,NE 
(402)434-3311 



If you're looking up a business with 
multiple locations, click the Local radio 
button and search for business name, 
city, and two-letter state abbreviation; 
you'll receive information about each 
location and an area map. 



You can also set your search- filtering 
preferences in Google Mobile the same 
way you can in Google. You can stick 
with the default Moderate option, 
choose the Strict Filtering option, or 
turn filtering off altogether. Changing 
your language preference, however, 
takes a little more effort. First you need 
to know the two-letter code that corre- 
sponds to the language you prefer; you 
can find these codes at www.google 
.com/apis/adwords/developer/ad 
words_api_languages.html. Then, 
when you access Google Mobile, type 
www.googlexom/xhtml?hl=XX where 
XX is the two-letter language code. 

More! More! More! 

Sometimes it seems that not a week 
goes by without Google launching a new 
service, so if you like Google Mobile, 
you can be fairly sure that additional 
features will debut in the coming 
months. In the meantime, take a look at 
some other mobile-related information 
in this issue. For example, if you live to 
blog, look for mobile blogging informa- 
tion in "Meet Blogger" on page 97. Qjs] 

by Cal Clinchard 



80 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 



Message Marvel 

Google Meets Text Messaging 




Low-tech text messaging? Meet 
the high-tech superpower, 
Google. In a marriage made in 
mobile technology heaven, 
Google, with its immense Internet data- 
base, offers a simple text messaging ser- 
vice for cell phones called Google SMS. 
You may already use SMS (Short Mes- 
sage Service), a service that lets you 
send short text messages via mobile 
phones. Often, the text message re- 
sponse comes back quickly, so you 
could send the phrase "meet for lunch?" 
to a friend and receive the reply "sure 
what time" a moment later. SMS has 
been amazingly popular with cell 
phone, smartphone, and PDA users. 
According to Yankee Group wireless 
and mobile director Adam Zawel, 
about 190 million people send SMS text 
messages every day in the United States. 
What Google SMS means for mo- 
bile phone users is you can type a short 
query into SMS and get the search re- 
sults back in about one minute. You 
can look up directions from one 



address to another, convert weight 
measures and other calculations, or get 
movie times for your local Cineplex. 
The reason this conjoining of Google's 
multibillion-item Internet database 
and a relatively simple text- messaging 
service works so well is that the queries 
are simple, yet the results are useful for 
mobile device users. This is especially 
handy if you're out on the road and 
can't get to an Internet- connected PC. 

So, imagine this scenario. You're 
stuck in traffic, wondering if you 
should visit your lake cabin for the 
weekend. Using Google SMS, you can 
get a weather forecast for the 55343 ZIP 
code just by text messaging the phrase 
weather 56501. Or, if you just discov- 
ered that the movie theater showing 
"King Kong" is full, you can find a 
showing just by text-messaging king 
kong san francisco. The power behind 
these search results all resides in 
Google's servers, which help Google 
SMS turn your phone into a portable 
search agent. To perform a query, just 
type the search term and send the text 
to46645(or"GOOGL"). 

A second reason why Google SMS 
works so well is convenience. Sure, 
most cell phone users know all about 
SMS and texting (sending a text mes- 
sage). New phones such as Motorola's 
RAZR line have gone well beyond that 
simple communication method. They 
offer a robust WAP (Wireless Appli- 
cation Protocol) client; WAP is a stan- 
dard that lets different types of wireless 
devices communicate across common 
networks. In fact, on the trendiest and 
coolest phones, the WAP browser is 
amazingly fast, running at the same 
speed or faster than a dial-up modem. 

The problem is that it still takes sev- 
eral seconds to start a WAP browser, a 



few more seconds to type google.com 
and access the site, and then a few 
more seconds to type your query into 
the search field. By then, the traffic 
might be uncongested and the weather 
changed! Google SMS, in contrast, 
frees you to keep focusing on the road 
or engage in conversation while you 
bring up the SMS client quickly and 
type the query. Most phones, such as 
the Nokia 6682, put SMS messaging 
right on the main menu of the phone 
where it only takes one click. 

"Search is a hot issue in mobile 
technology right now because there is 
only so much screen real estate, and 
no one likes squinting at these small 
screens," says Yankee Group's Zawel. 
"All eyes are on Google and Yahoo! to 
figure out the best way to search from 
a mobile [device], and Google SMS is 
one option. Google may have advance 
services for the high-end phones, but 
this is the low-end answer for the 
masses. SMS is the lowest common 
denominator for searching." 

Challenges, Competition 
& The Google SMS Outlook 

Of course, even as the lowest com- 
mon denominator, Google SMS is not 
a perfect mobile search service. While 
the syntax for most text searches (such 
as "address 56501") is easy to remem- 
ber, Google SMS also lets you perform 
more advanced searches, such as 
finding the population for a foreign 
country ("population pakistan") or 
looking up the price for an item at 
Froogle.com, Google's shopping inter- 
face for finding the lowest price on a 
product. To perform a Froogle search, 
you'll need the exact name of the item 
or, say, a book's ISBN (International 
Standard Book Number). Most people 
don't keep that information handy, 
so the more advanced searches are not 
as useful. 

Google SMS might also change some 
user perceptions as loyal Google fans 
wonder why the company is offering 
such a low-tech solution. Zawel noted 
that large companies, such as Disney or 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 81 



Stay Connected 



ESPN, always move slowly with 
innovative technology because 
they want to make sure it's a 
proven commodity before they 
attach their brand to it. If users 
understand that all the power is 
online and the messaging inter- 
face is for convenience only, it 
will succeed. 

Google SMS has some com- 
petition, though. For example, 
Yahoo! offers the Yahoo! SMS 
service, which works similarly 
to Google SMS. To use it, you 
just send the SMS query to 
92466 (or "YAHOO") and wait 
a minute or so for the results. 
The main difference between 
Yahoo! SMS search and Google 
SMS is that Yahoo! offers a 
wireless hotspot directory. For mobile 
phone users who happen to carry a 
laptop or handheld, the hotspot di- 
rectory is handy because you can 
search from hotels, airports, or from 
any location where you really need to 
Web surf. Also, the search query is 
easy to remember: It's just "wifi" plus 
the ZIP code that you want to search. 

Another competitor is 4Info.com, 
which offers a free SMS search. With 
4Info.com you simply send your 
queries to 44636. 4Info seems to do a 
better job with phone book searches 
and offers a wireless hotspot locator 
("hotspot 56501"), jokes (using the 
straightforward query "joke"), flight 
times (name of airline plus the flight 
number), and even sports stats for 
your favorite players ("tiger" for 
Tiger Woods). 

Even though these advanced 
searches are powerful, Google SMS 
does have an edge in terms of raw 
speed because most searches take 
about one minute or less before you 
get the results sent back to your phone. 
Also, Google has done a better job 
than its competitors of explaining its 
queries at www.google.com/sms; 
Google also provides a printable tip 
sheet at www.google.com/sms/tips.pdf. 

Google SMS is also more power- 
ful when it comes to experimental 



.... 




HtWd.lU..*} 






? s^tf^^iSsrwtwtrtp^Mifwcift.^™-,!^-.) 


wscwr*---- 


zxszz 


Wwrt t»l**n HiwfP 


-.-.-.g^MW 



The Google SMS site contains a helpful advice section, 
as well as a printable tips sheet that's in PDF format 
and is designed to fold and fit into a wallet. 



searches. For example, you can type just 
about any search term, such as inventor 
telegraph, to get results that are similar 
to what you'd see if you were using 
Google on your desktop computer. 
These question-and-answer types of 
searches, which Google appropriately 
refers to as Q&A queries, let you find 
the populations for countries and cities, 
the birthday for a celebrity, a movie's 
running time, and more. The impor- 
tant thing to remember about Q&A 
queries is to put the search term first, 
followed by the proper name. So, for 
example, enter birthday torn cruise and 
not torn cruise birthday. Interestingly, 
the celebrity search is hit or miss. 

Google SMS is still in an early stage 
of development, and it's technically one 
of Google's famous beta (prerelease test 
version) applications. It works fine, 
but there's room for improvement. 
According to David Ferris from Ferris 
Research, the jury is still out on whether 
people really want to do searches from 
mobile phones with its small screen and 
awkward keyboard. In testing, he has 
found that Google SMS does not work 
conveniently on higher-end phones 
such as the Treo 650, most likely be- 
cause those devices have full keyboards 
instead of the truncated versions com- 
monly used for SMS text messag- 
ing. "Overall, the ability to perform a 



complex search is much easier 
through a Web interface," he 
notes. "It's easy because the de- 
vice is always with you, but the 
small screen and keyboard 
makes searching harder, even 
through an SMS client." 

A future version of Google 
SMS may simplify searches 
with more abbreviated syntax 
("pop" instead of "popula- 
tion"). The service could do a 
better job of parsing data so 
that, even if you misspell a 
name (by entering torn criuse, 
for example), you'd still get 
the search results you're look- 
ing for. And, Google could 

eventually improve the Google 

SMS search categories, adding 
hotspot queries, better airline look- 
ups, and the ability to convert cur- 
rency, which is currently on Google's 
"to do" list. At some point, if Google 
can fix a few holes in the service, 
add more search features, and make 
searches easier, cell phone users could 
start using the text-messaging client as 
often as they use Google.com. 

Walkthroughs 

For guidance in performing searches 
with Google SMS, here are a few walk- 
throughs to help you find the coolest 
and most useful information. For each 
walkthrough, try experimenting with 
variations on the search terms, using 
different locations, the full name for 
cities instead of the ZIP code, or dif- 
ferent celebrities from the ones we sug- 
gest. Remember that your phone most 
likely will save SMS messages in your 
messaging client's outbox, so you 
can reuse them without having top 
type the term or even the Google SMS 
address again. 

Note that we used a Motorola 
MPX220 for our tests; most phones 
follow a similar process. To send an 
SMS message, first select your phone's 
messaging option. Look for the option 
to create a new message. In the To: 
field, enter 46645. Then, in the body of 



82 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 




On a Motorola MPX220, 
text messaging is available 
right on the main screen 
just by going to the Text 
Messages option. 



the message, enter the syntax we de- 
scribed below for each walkthrough, 
making any changes you see fit. After 
you type the message, use your phone's 
send option. Your phone will send the 
message. Depending on how your cel- 
lular carrier works (Verizon works dif- 
ferently than Nextel, for example), you 
will usually receive an SMS reply in 
about one minute. In some areas, how- 
ever, the reply may take as long as 10 
minutes. Also, on some phones that 
also use email messaging, you may 
need to use a send- and- receive option 
to get the new SMS reply from Google. 

Weather. To get a four- day weather 
forecast, start your SMS client and 
create a new message. You can type 
weather followed by your ZIP code or 
weather followed by your city and 
state. Don't bother with commas or 
other punctuation because Google 
SMS generally ignores any characters 
other than letter and numbers. If you 
happen to be traveling in a foreign 
country, you can convert Celsius 
temps to Fahrenheit (or vice versa) by 
entering the temperature followed by 
the phrase fahrenheit in celsius. 

Froogle. Froogle is Google's Web 
site for looking up product prices on 
the Internet. The idea behind Froogle 
is that you can find the lowest price 
for products. This search works amaz- 
ingly well as long as you type the 
product name correctly. So, for ex- 
ample, you can just search for a cell 
phone, but Froogle works better if you 
search for a specific phone, such as the 
Motorola RAZR, by typing price razr. 
You might know that the RAZR is al- 
ways in all caps; Google ignores capi- 
talization, so you can keep everything 
in lower case. So, the shortcut for 
Froogle is just the letter "f ' followed 
by the product name, and you can use 
a capital or lowercase. 



king kong 55343| 



runtime crash| 



hospital minneapolismnl 



The Froogle search 

through Google SMS is 

wildly erratic. A search for 

a Nokia 6682 gives you 

a price on an antenna, 

not the new phone. Some 

generic searches work 

(such as "f dvd player"), and 

others don't seem to produce 

the best results. For example, 

if you want to buy Adobe 

PhotoShop CS2 and type price 

photoshop, you'll get a book on 

mastering PhotoShop. It's cool 

to experiment with different 

terms, though, such as "f ball" 

(which sends back an exercise 

ball price) or "price condo" 

(which returns a kitty condo 

stand of all things). 

Location and directions. 
This is where the real power of 
Google comes into play. Google 
has an extensive map database, 
so even if you type in an ob- 
scure address, there's a high 
percentage chance that Google SMS 
will know where you want to go. To 
search for a location, type the street ad- 
dress plus the city and state. There's no 
syntax for telling Google SMS that you 
want the location, it just knows what 
you want based on the fact that you are 
typing an address. For directions, enter 
to between the address, state, and city 
and the second location. For example, 
if you sent the message 102 grove street 
minneapolis mn to 1501 fifth street 
duluth mn Google SMS would provide 
step-by-step instructions on how to get 
there. (Our sample trip takes about 
four hours, by the way.) A few other 
handy location look-ups include en- 
tering a ZIP code or area code to see 
the city covered, and placing a "g" be- 
fore a city name (for example, g 
Chicago), which returns the first 
Google listing. For Chicago, you'll see 
the city newspapers listed along with a 
quick description of each. 

Q&A queries. Experimenting with 
Google SMS can lead to some inter- 
esting results. For any Q&A query, 
you can just type any phrase, such 



buffalo mn| 



| Menu 



To get a four-day weather 
report, type the search 
term weather followed by 
your city and state. 



| Menu 



You can search for movie 
times by typing the name 
of the movie plus your 
ZIP code or city and state. 



| Menu 



Or, you can check the 
run time for a movie 
such as "Crash" by typing 
runtime crash. 



| Menu 



Local searches for 
hospitals, post offices, 
and libraries help 
mobile phone users 
stay more mobile. 



as torn cruise real name and get the 
results back as an SMS message 
from Google. A few phrases we tried 
included "birthplace torn hanks" 
(Concord, Calif.), "who wrote blink" 
(Malcolm Gladwell), and "who won 
Daytona" (Richard Petty). There's a 
certain satisfaction in getting answers 
out of this massive encyclopedia. 

Other Searches 

To perform any calculation, just 
type the syntax you want to use, such 
as 500 * 500 (to multiply the two num- 
bers) or sqrt 555 (to find the square 
root of 555). There's no need to enter 
an equal sign. To find a movie time, 
use the name of the movie and your 
ZIP code or city. You can find hospi- 
tals, libraries, and post offices by 
typing the search terms plus the city 
and state (for example, library buffalo 
mn). Keep trying, and you might be 
surprised what Google SMS serves up; 
the possibilities are almost endless! [jjs] 

by John Brandon 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 83 



Stay Connected 



Hello, IPs Me 

Google's Communications Tool 
Lets You Share Pics, Too 




According to a recent Pew 
Internet and American Life 
Project (www.pewinter 
net.org) survey, teenage 
Internet users tend to keep in touch 
with peers through IM (instant mes- 
saging) and view email as a way to 
communicate with parents or institu- 
tions. What does this mean for the 



rest of us? As for businesses, today's 
(and undoubtedly tomorrow's) 
system administrators prefer IM, so 
there could well be a shift in focus to- 
ward real-time communication over 
the Internet. For consumers, there are 
already many IM clients available, 
most of them free. Yahoo! and 
Microsoft both offer popular options, 




While you're chatting with a friend, you can see what pictures you're sharing on the 
left, what your friend just said on right, and what you're typing in the bottom-right 
corner of the tab. You can also save, scroll through, or remove pictures you've sent. 



but as with many other aspects of life 
on the Web, Google is leading the 
charge toward a better Internet expe- 
rience with its Hello software. 

Say "Hello" To Hello 

Hello is a free IM client that is sim- 
ilar in most ways to many of its com- 
petitors. Hello allows you to chat in 
real time with other users across town 
or around the world. The difference 
between Hello and other IM clients, 
however, is that Hello also lets users ex- 
change print-quality digital photos 
with any other Hello user and chat 
about them as if separated only by a 
coffee table. Email is a more traditional 
method of online photo-sharing 
among individuals, but not only does it 
take more time to receive feedback on 
the photos, it can take a tremendous 
amount of time to send a high-quality 
photo, especially for those using a dial- 
up Internet connection. Large image 
files also clog up inboxes, assuming the 
recipient's email service provider per- 
mits receiving them at all. To top it off, 
sending photos via email requires that 
recipients have the appropriate soft- 
ware installed to view the file. Hello 
does away with all of those problems. 

Hello is designed to share and view 
photos, so you can send dozens, even 
hundreds of high-resolution photos 
quickly, regardless of your Internet 
connection speed. The photos are ini- 
tially resized, if necessary, for optimal 
on-screen viewing, eliminating the 
hassle of waiting for every picture to 
load before deciding which one you 
want; the downloaded copies, by con- 
trast, are restored to a higher resolu- 
tion suitable for excellent, vivid 
print-outs or saving to your hard 
drive, CD, or DVD. You can give the 
photo-sender your feedback right away 
via Hello, and even see which photo 
the sender is currently looking at. 

Hello offers 128 -bit encryption, so 
you can be sure that you and the users 
you select are the only ones viewing 
your photos. After downloading 
photos, you can use Google's Picasa 



84 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Stay Connected 




■I l*ta.|taJU ! »Hm.l 



(also free) to organize 
them. If you have both 
Picasa and Hello, the im- 
ages you download auto- 
matically go to your Picasa 
folders for you to edit them 
as you please. 

If you're into Hogging, 
Hello has a free plug-in 
called BloggerBot that au- 
tomatically resizes pictures, 
adds comments, and for- 
mats pictures for posting 
on your blog. If you're al- 
ready a Blogger member 
when you install Hello, 
BloggerBot will be added 
to your friends list so you 
can start posting pictures 
right away. For more infor- 
mation on Picasa or 
BloggerBot, see the respec- 
tive articles in this issue. 

Hello is worth having for 
its picture-sharing capabili- 
ties alone, but it can do 
more. Some IM clients let 
you choose an avatar, a 
graphical representation of 
yourself that is visible to 
other users. With Hello, you 
can use any photo in your 
library as your visual profile 
that others see when you in- 
troduce yourself over the 
Internet. If you have a Web cam at- 
tached to your computer, you can use 
Hello to send instant snapshots to other 
users without having to download them 
from your digital camera. Hello also lets 
you surf the Web or shop online with a 
friend from the comfort of your own 
home. Finally, Hello has a history file as- 
sociated with it that remembers not only 
what photos you've viewed, but the con- 
versations you've had in the past so you 
can remember what files you've sent 
and what you said about each picture. 

How To Get & Install Hello 

In order to install Hello on your 
computer, you'll need Windows 
98/Me/2000/XP and, at minimum, a 



? ? ® Q :: 



If you have a Blogger account, you can "chat" with that account 
and send pictures that you can use in your blog. 




Whenever you're viewing a Web page that you want to share 
with a friend, use the Share In Hello tool in Internet Explorer to 
send a link to a friend. Then you can use Hello's Friend's View 
tool to follow your friend around the Web. 



300MHz processor, 64MB of RAM, 
50MB of free hard drive space, and 
Internet Explorer 5.0. If you're unsure 
of what your system has, click Start, 
Control Panel and double-click the 
System icon. The General tab displays 
information about your operating 
system, processor speed, and memory. 
To find out how much hard drive 
space you have, open My Computer, 
right-click the hard drive icon, and se- 
lect Properties; on the General tab 
under Capacity you'll see how much 
space is in use and how much is avail- 
able. Finally, to find out which version 
of Internet Explorer you're using, open 
IE and select About Internet Explorer 
from the Help menu. If your system 
has everything Hello requires, go to 



www.hello.com and click 
the Download link in the 
toolbar on the left. 

The Hello Download 
page asks you to create an 
account. Your username is 
the name that people will 
see when you're online and 
will be used as your identity 
while you're on Hello. 
Select a unique username, 
password, and an email ad- 
dress. (Be sure to re- 
member each of these three 
pieces of information be- 
cause they give you access 
to Hello's services.) Re- 
produce the letters dis- 
played in the box toward 
the bottom of the form and 
click Submit. The software 
will attempt to download 
immediately. If you're 
using WinXP or have cer- 
tain security measures in 
place, the download might 
not start right away; in this 
case, you might be asked to 
first install ActiveX. Follow 
the onscreen prompts to 
install ActiveX; the Internet 
Explorer version that 
comes with WinXP Service 

Pack 2 provides a bar at the 

top of your browser that 
you can click to allow the installation. 
When the Hello software download 
completes, click Install on the window 
that pops up to begin the installation. 

Start the Hello setup process by 
reading and agreeing to the software 
agreement. By default the installer puts 
the software in its own program folder. 
You can change the installation desti- 
nation if you wish, but the default 
works fine. Click Install, and the pro- 
gram does the rest. At the end of the 
setup process, a series of checkboxes 
lets you control how you want the 
software to start. If you leave Run 
Hello checked, the program will start 
automatically when you click Finish. If 
you leave Run Hello When Windows 
Starts checked, the software will start 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 85 



Stay Connected 



automatically whenever 
you boot your computer. 
Checking Create Shortcut 
On Desktop will place a 
Hello shortcut link on your 
Desktop that lets you start 
the program more easily. 
Finally, checking Add 
Shortcut To Quick Launch 
will add a shortcut icon to 
the Windows Quick 
Launch menu on the left 
side of your Taskbar, next 
to the Start button. After 
selecting the options you 
want, click Finish and 
you're all done. 

Start Working With Hello 

The first time you run Hello, a 
window pops up telling you some fea- 
tures of the software. If you're reading 
this article, you'll already know this in- 
formation, so close this window. 
When the Hello login screen appears, 
enter the username and password you 
created earlier. If you didn't create an 
account, click the link to Hello's Web 
site and create one. Also, if you ever 
lose your password, you can click the 
Lost Your Password? link and it will be 
sent to the email address you provided 
during registration. 

The two checkboxes in this window 
let you control how Hello behaves 
following your initial setup. The 
Remember My Password checkbox 
will keep your password handy so that 
you don't have to input it every time 
you start the software. Automatically 
Log In is only selectable if you elect to 
have the software remember your 
password and will allow the software 
to skip the login screen and take you 
online automatically. If you want to 
change these options later on, you can 
do so by clicking Tools and Options in 
Hello. Once the software starts up, a 
small blue sunflower-like icon will ap- 
pear in the System Tray, the small area 
on the toolbar in the bottom right of 
your screen. You can access Hello any- 
time it's running by double-clicking 



'Jt .*.. ' f^n =y.-jn :«-; sfc 


□j ,™,, 


m Wf . 


SHHHM 






.7j Tb**.pkfOTl.pdl«*ll<>«Mh~> 


„. + 







The main window of Hello that comes up when Hello starts 
shows you which of your friends are online, a bit about their 
profile, and some of the things you've sent them in the past. 



this icon. If you're logged in, the icon 
is blue; if you're not logged in, the 
icon is gray. You can start Hello by 
double-clicking the grey icon. 

At this point you should quit and 
restart the software because there's one 
more step you'll need to complete be- 
fore you can run Hello. Google wants 
to be sure you're who you say you are, 
so the software will ask you to verify 
your email address. A browser window 
will pop up displaying the email ad- 
dress you provided. Click the Verify 
Email button. A new page will let you 
know that a confirmation email has 
been sent. The process should be in- 
stantaneous. Log in to your email ac- 
count and open the message with the 
subject line, "AutoReply- Picasa 



S] Inviting Friends to Hello 



Enter a friend's Hello username or email 



Friends to add or invite 



To send an invitation to a friend to 
start using Hello, click Invite. You'll then 
be asked to enter the Hello name or 
email address of your friends. Hello will 
send invitations to those you list. 



Registration," from sender 
invites@picasa.com. If 
you're using anti-spam or 
junk email filters, check 
these carefully; the message 
may be filtered as unwanted 
mail, but it's perfectly safe 
to open. Click the link indi- 
cated (you may need to 
temporarily disable any 
pop-up blockers you have 
running) and allow the 
window to open. It will tell 
you that you've successfully 
activated your account. You 
can save the email or delete 
it and start using Hello. 
Now that Hello is up and 
running, you'll see the software's main 
window, which uses a tabbed menu 
structure. Every process or conversation 
you have running is visible on the tabs 
along the top of the window, just below 
the toolbar (we'll come to that in a bit). 
At first, the only tab visible is the Friends 
tab. You'll only have one or two names 
in this portion at first, until, of course, 
you start to make more acquaintances. 
This Friends tab shows all of your active 
conversations and indicates which of 
your Friends are on- and offline. To start 
a conversation, simply click a friend's 
username and the Chat button. This will 
open another tab that contains interfaces 
for exchanging text messages and 
photos. You can move through various 
ongoing conversations by simply 
clicking the appropriate tab along the 
top of the window, allowing you to carry 
on multiple conversations at once. If you 
have a Blogger account, you can "chat" 
with that account and send pictures to 
post on your blog. See "Meet Blogger" 
on page 97 for more information. 

If you're working with another 
program and Hello is running in the 
background, new pictures or mes- 
sages will pop up in small alert win- 
dows along the bottom of your screen 
as Hello receives them. You won't 
have to stop what you're doing to ac- 
knowledge these alerts, but you will 
always know exactly what's going on 
in Hello without having to sit there 



86 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



and stare at it. To return to Hello, 
simply click the alert window and 
you'll be up-to-date in seconds. 

If someone sends you an invitation to 
chat, it will pop up as a new tab on the 
main window. Messages appear in the 
window on the top right; you type 
replies in the window on the bottom 
right. Pictures you've selected to send 
will appear in the left half of the chat 
window. To send pictures while chat- 
ting, click the Send Pictures button in 
the top-left corner of the chat window. 
Hello will then ask you where the pic- 
tures are. You can choose from either 
Picasa or Windows Explorer. (To learn 
more about Picasa, see "It's Not Picasso, 
But It's Close" on page 108.) Find the 
picture you want. Each image you select 
appears in the Hello window along with 
options to remove, save to your hard 
drive, or scroll through the pictures. 

Once you start sharing photos, you'll 
see a small thumbnail-sized window 
pop up in the main picture window. 
This is the Friend's View window. If 
you click the small green Play button in 
the Friends View window, you'll move 
through pictures as your friend sees 
them, allowing you to share everything 
about viewing the photos. 

After installing Hello, you might no- 
tice a new toolbar with a single icon in 
Internet Explorer. It's called the Share 
In Hello function. With this tool, you 
can take a snapshot of the Web page 
you're currently viewing and send it to 
your friends, similar to the way you'd 
send a picture. The good part is that 
the image of the Web page you send 
acts like a Web link, so that when the 
recipient clicks the image it brings up a 
fully functional Web page. 

So far, we've dealt mainly with tools 
you can see as icons in the main 
window. You can perform each of these 
operations and more with the toolbar 
along the top of the window. We don't 
have enough space to go through them 
all, but there are a few worth men- 
tioning. The File menu contains options 
to save conversations, print conversa- 
tions or photos, log out, and exit the 
program. The Options item on the 



^ he lie from picasa 



File Tools Help 




)lE ^ 



@ Remember Password 
Login en Launch 

Get 3 Hello username 
1 ia s sword? 



Help j 



When you start Hello, you will be asked for 
your username and password. You can elect 
to skip this by checking the Remember 
Password and Login On Launch checkboxes. 
If you forgot your password, click Lost Your 
Password? and it will be sent to the email 
account you registered with. 













$7 Remember my password 
1? Automatically log in 




P Full resolution (broadband recommsrdsa;. 






My Pictures\Hello\ 

Change... 


fs Play sounds 

17 Save chat to history 

• Si-:' Pcpiji l.ctifier? 

I - Show when friends log in 
(7 Show Flying Smilies 












P Using Picasa 

C -■: Dialog 

|7 Let me choose each time 
















P Use Large Previews 

Maximum width/height of sent pictures: 

f Limit size to | pixels 

Maximum bandwidth used: 

r Limit to KbAsec 


Computer Name: 
| DjmOOLaptop 

Clear Cache 








OK 1 Cancel 1 









If you want to make any changes to the 
way your Hello software performs while 
its running, you'll need to select 
Options from the Tools menu. From 
there you can change everything from 
alerts to startup options. 



Tools menu lets you make changes to 
many of your preferences for how Hello 
behaves. The User Interface Options let 
you change how the software behaves 
when you receive or send messages, 
such as audio or visual alerts. Another 
notable option is Automatic Saving. By 
default, Hello uses the MY PIC- 
TURES\HELLO folder as your primary 
image directory. If you want to change 
it, you can use the Automatic Saving op- 
tion to specify a different folder for this 
purpose. Finally, if you want to change 
the picture of yourself that others see or 
your personal profile, click Edit Profile. 



After you're all done chatting and 
sending pictures, you can quit actively 
working with Hello in one of three 
ways. Closing the main window 
doesn't actually stop the program; 
rather, it leaves the program running 
in the background and the active Hello 
icon in the System Tray. You'll still be 
online so others can see you and send 
messages to you. Alternatively, if you 
want to turn off the software com- 
pletely, click File and Logout. The de- 
activated Hello icon will remain in the 
System Tray. Finally, if you want to 
completely turn off the software and 
remove the Hello icon from the 
System Tray, click File and Exit. You 
will be asked if you're sure you want to 
proceed. If you always want to turn 
Hello completely off by this method 
rather than letting the program run in 
the background, check the Exit Hello 
Always checkbox. 

Don't Say Good-Bye To Hello 

Hello can do much more than 
we've covered here, and hopefully 
you're intrigued enough to start 
looking at the software a little more 
closely for yourself. It's a great pro- 
gram with a multitude of features 
that can make your Web-browsing 
experience more enjoyable now and 
in the years to come. Qjs] 

by David Miller 



















If you have Picasa, Hello can search your 
Picasa folders for images to send. If you don't 
have Picasa, you can learn more about it in 




/ 1 Try Picasa 

Af0 ft**™* 


\QJ Use Explorer 










the article in this issue or you can simply find 
pictures using Windows Explorer. 




Learn more about finding 

pictures with Picasa 


CANCEL 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 87 



Google Tools 



Tool(bar) Time 



Make Your Browser A Powerhouse 




It checks your spelling. It's multi- 
lingual. It can find locations on 
maps faster than you can say 
"Vasco da Gama." Google Tool- 
bar is an add-on for the Internet 
Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web 
browsers that may be small in stature 
(both in terms of file size and the space 
it occupies in a browser window) but 
delivers amazing performance. 

A handy, free support application 
that adds a full bag of functionality to 
your Web browser shouldn't come as a 
tremendous shock when you consider 
the company that designed it has 
branched out from simply searching the 
Web to assisting us in many of our on- 
line endeavors. In a lot of ways, you can 
think of the Google Toolbar as a bite- 
sized version of the Google's home page 
with a few extra bells and whistles. Be- 
cause it's free software you can down- 
load and install quickly (even with dial- 
up Internet access), Google Toolbar, in 
the beta stages of its third version, could 
be the best add-on you don't have. 

Powerful Package 

To understand how helpful and un- 
obtrusive the Toolbar is, think of your 



Web browser as a house and the 
Toolbar as the perfect roommate. This 
is the roommate who only requires a 
broom closet for living space, can find 
virtually anything, keeps annoying 
door-to-door salespeople from both- 
ering you, and is fluent en espanol. 
And this wonder roommate doesn't 
charge you a dime for these services. 

Google Search. Like the Web site, 
Google Search is the keystone that 
holds Google Toolbar together. Not 
only can you execute a standard 



Google Thanks for installing the Google Toolbar! 

Please set your options below, then click "Finish". 

Select your search site: M Hi v 



... ... ... 

:: : ■ : . (; : :. : -, ■::■■.:■.■.: ■ ■ •', ;)f 1 h :: ■ri- 

le toyou, 

• < ■■&'/■.. .- - 

site Vuii'-e viy.inc;, "••■h'ch :: u:e; b- 'xnCrg us Lh"- ViV... 

'.-..ocg-:- vail ml e< ;>> cte per;cra:v der\r;;±i s rfV'arcn ta any tVd jsrae-s s>cf:t:; as 

cr-.j'ii.;;:-;! i : .: e '-::;iyle y: vai.y ! J :'iuV ' ;j t-s: i':;>e ijucu'. :.'<':■ < vmv p"::'e;:.::j!',:- .« 

engine in Firefox 



O Enable PageRank display 
O Disable PageRank display 



Google takes plenty of opportunities 
to notify you when you have to submit 
information from your computer over 
the Internet or if a particular feature 
may involve privacy issues. 



Google or I'm Feeling Lucky search 
using one or more keyword(s), but you 
can also use the Google Search box to 
search the current Web site you are vis- 
iting, Google Images, Google Groups, 
News, and Froogle. 

Popup Blocker. Now that Microsoft 
has added its own pop -up blocker to 
Internet Explorer, the Toolbar's 
blocker isn't quite as snazzy as when it 
debuted, but we like to think of this as 
having too much of a good thing. We 
can't say if pop-up ads will ever go 
away, but whether you make nice with 
Microsoft or go with Google, both 
blockers should be up to the task. 

AutoLink. How many times have 
you had to find the address of a new 
local bistro with an online map ser- 
vice? When you click the Toolbar's 
AutoLink button, a recent addition to 
this handy browser add-on, the Tool- 
bar automatically links you to an on- 
line map. You can also use AutoLink 



AutoLink turns information on web pages into 
useful links 



Prima Cafe 

Walnut Creek, CA 
(925)935-7780 

Prima Cafe 

(925)935-7780 
I 



-i^vCI 



AutoLink lets , eful links onto 

Web pages with a single click. 

For example; if you see a street ad: 
you can click AutoLink and you will get a 
link to a map of that address. 

AutoLink works for: 

* Street Addresses 

* DHL, FedEx, UPS and USPS 
tracking numbers 

i * Book or publication ISBN 

* Automobile VIIM 



\ 





To use AutoLink, you simply need to click 
the ^ AutoLink T button. 

! 1 


...'■ 


ervers. Please view the updated Toolbar 


1 OK | 



Finding maps for U.S. street addresses 
isn't the only trick up the multitalented 
AutoLink feature's sleeve. 



to connect a package's tracking num- 
ber with its delivery status, find a ve- 
hicle's history according to its VIN 
number, and convert publication 
ISBNs (International Standard Book 
Numbers) to Amazon.com listings. At 
press time, you could only use Auto- 
Link with U.S. addresses. 

AutoFill. As if your spouse weren't 
dangerous enough with that credit 



88 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



card, AutoFill completes your address 
and credit card information with a 
single click, greatly reducing the 
amount of the time the professional 
shopper in your family has to spend 
at the online checkout lane. Enter 
your information once in the Tool- 
bar's Options dialog box, and Auto- 
Fill takes care of the rest. According to 
Google, your credit card information 
is password-protected. 

WordTranslator. This new feature 
is great for anyone curious about 
other languages. WordTranslator is 
another new Toolbar feature that 
gives the heave-ho to language dic- 
tionaries. When you hover your Win- 
dows pointer over an English word, 
WordTranslator displays its transla- 
tion in any of the following languages: 
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), 
French, German, Italian, Japanese, 
Korean, and Spanish. 

SpellCheck. Email, online chat 
rooms, and forums are notorious for 
being rife with spelling mistakes. 
SpellCheck is a new feature that cor- 
rects spelling mistakes when you type 
into a Web form, such as an email 
message or discussion forum post. 
SpellCheck has an AutoFix option 
that works like AutoFill. A single click 
can correct all of your text at once. 

Address Bar Browse By Name. By 
now, most words have their own 
Web site, and this feature, which is 
only available for the 
Internet Explorer version 
of Google Toolbar, takes 
you to the Web site of any 
word you type in the ad- 
dress bar. For example, 
typing shoes in the ad- 
dress bar takes you to 
www.shoes.com. If you 
type a word that doesn't 
have a URL such as floc- 
cinaucinihilipilification, 
Browse By Name auto- 
matically displays the 
term's search results. 

PageRank Display. In 
short, this is what Google 
thinks of a particular Web 



: n fill in as many (or 






s as you like. 














Full name 






Email address 






Phone number 

















Address 

Line 2 
City 

: ^/province 
Country/Region 

. .■ , ... . . 
my primary a 
0an alternate 












1 






1 






1 




1 


Postal code Q 






Zl 




: . • ■-. 




Add/Edit Alternate Address. . . 



Credit Card (o 

• ■/.,...' . :-,;; i r ;■•;:;- 

| Add/Edit Credit Card.,, | 



L 



i: 



You can completely fill out the 
AutoFill settings, or you can limit the 
information to just those items that 
you're comfortable sending out. 



No need to type web addresses thanks to 
Browse By Name 



Save time Brow ;e By Name by 

oxford I typing nam:: . if URLs into the 

Internet Explorer address bar. 



-.*- 




For example., yping the URL: 



.. , xf^ http://www.ox.ac.uk 

you can type the name: 
oxford 

And Browse , :es you there! 



i~qk~i 



The Browse By Name feature can take 
you immediately to a Web site that 
corresponds to a word you type in your 
Web browser's address bar. 



fllSri* Hotmail 



=21 Send | vZ Sav tach T |" 4- | Ik? Tools -r | £3 Cancel 



page. This feature is more for fun 
than anything, but it's a quick, inter- 
esting, and illustrated look at how 
Google's algorithms determine a Web 
page's importance. See the "If Google 
Ran The Web" sidebar for an enter- 
taining look at Google's approach to 
the Internet. 

Highlight/Word Find. These are 
two separate functions, but they es- 
sentially do the same things. The 
Highlight button can be particularly 
useful when you're trying to find a 
search term amidst an ocean of irrele- 
vant text. For example, if you searched 
for "Cajun swordfish recipe" and go 
to a Web page containing several 
recipes, you can quickly sift through 
the unwanted recipes by looking for 
the highlighted content. The Word 
Find button takes you to the first oc- 
currence of a word on a particular 
page. You can continue to click the 
Word Find button, and the Toolbar 
will find subsequent instances of 
the word. 

Auto Update. Just as Google itself 
strives to improve, periodic updates to 
the Toolbar bring new features and 
(usually) an improved browsing expe- 
rience. Google Toolbar even does all of 
the heavy lifting for you, automatically 
installing updates so you don't have to 
worry about constantly checking for 
new versions. Downloading the appli- 
cation once should do the trick. 



■ ■'■■ ■ iy? ■ - 



:.,.:'.■ :-/.':-•:: 
of Google function. will co 

•veb forms that 



Favorite Contacts 

Balderson, Christa 

Clark, Nick 
Daehn, Veronica 
Dankleff, Katie 
Freij Molly 

Hardy, Alisa 

Kappa Alpha, Pi 

Knudson, Larissa 
Ljunggren, Chandra 



JU 









.-.age to Sent Folder 



SpellCheck flags words you've misspelled in Web forms. 
Ironically, it flags itself. 



Toolbar Unleashed 

Even if you don't plan 
on using everything the 
Toolbar offers, you can 
download and install it 
quickly. (And if you really 
don't like it, uninstalling it 
is even easier.) You can 
download it at toolbar 
.google.com or start at 
Google's home page (www 
.google.com) and click the 
More link. Under Google 
Tools, click Toolbar. At 
the Toolbar's Web page, 
click Download Google 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 89 



Google Tools 



Toolbar and then click Run to begin 
installing the Toolbar or click Save to 
save the installer on your computer to 
run at a later time. 

To use the Toolbar with Internet 
Explorer, your PC needs to run 
Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and at 
least Internet Explorer version 5.5. 
For the SpellCheck and AutoLink 
features, you'll need at least Internet 
Explorer 6.0. 

If WinXP displays a Security Warn- 
ing dialog box before launching the 
installer, click Run. Next, you'll need 
to select a Google site to use for your 
searches. For U.S. users, this is simply 
google.com, which is selected by de- 
fault. International users should select 
the appropriate country from among 
the list. If you have any Internet 
Explorer windows open, make sure 
Close All Internet Explorer Windows 
Automatically is selected. Click Agree 
& Continue. 

At the Choose Your Configura- 
tion step, carefully read about your 
options regarding the Toolbar's ad- 
vanced features; it isn't the typical 
boilerplate you see in most end user 
license agreements. To use the 
Toolbar's advanced features, the 
Toolbar has to relay information 
about the sites you visit to Google. 
Although Google does not provide 
personally identifiable information 
to third parties, you should read 
Google's Privacy Policy (see "Privacy 
Please" on page 22 for more infor- 
mation) and the Toolbar Privacy 
Policy (there's an embedded link at 
the Choose Your Configuration 
step) if you're concerned about 
sending information from your 
computer to Google. Select either 
Enable Advanced Features or Dis- 
able Advanced Features and click 
Finish to complete the installation. 

Once installation is complete, 
Internet Explorer should automati- 
cally restart with the Google Toolbar 
appearing just below the Address 
bar. On the page that loads, you can 
click the Take A Quick Tour link for 
a rundown of the Toolbar's features. 



To fire up the Toolbar for Firefox, 
go to toolbar.google.com. The system 
requirements for Firefox are slightly 
different from Internet Explorer; al- 
though the Firefox Toolbar is com- 
patible with Mac OS X 10.2+ and Red 
Hat Linux 8.0+, it isn't as friendly 
with Windows OSes (operating sys- 
tems). You'll need either Win2000 
with at least SP3 (Service Pack 3) in- 
stalled or WinXP. You'll also need to 
have Firefox 1.0+. 

Click Download Google Toolbar 
and Agree And Install. Before pro- 
ceeding, Firefox should alert you with 
a Software Installation dialog box in- 
structing you to only install software 
from trusted sources; click Install 
Now. The installer will automatically 
run, and the Extensions dialog box 
that opens will notify you when you 
can restart Firefox. 

When you restart Firefox, it auto- 
matically loads another dialog box 
that contains information nearly 
identical to the Choose Your Config- 
uration step if you were installing the 
Toolbar for Internet Explorer. Select 
your search site (www.google.com for 
domestic users), click either Enable 
PageRank Display or Disable Page- 
Rank Display, and click Finish. 

Super Surfing 

Whether you fancy Firefox or are 
inclined to use Internet Explorer, 
you'll find that both versions of the 
Toolbar are virtually identical. Click 
the Options button to customize and 
start your Toolbar experience. On 
the Browsing tab of the Toolbar 
Options dialog box, you can disable 
any of the following features by 
clearing the check mark in their re- 
spective checkboxes: Address Bar 
Browse By Name, Popup Blocker, 
PageRank Display, SpellCheck, 
WordTranslator (disabled by de- 
fault), AutoFill, and AutoLink. 

With the exception of Address Bar 
Browse By Name and PageRank 
Display, you can adjust settings for 
each feature by clicking its Settings 



button. Although the settings for the 
Popup Blocker, SpellCheck, Word- 
Translator, and AutoLink are essen- 
tially preferences, you'll need to 
complete the AutoFill Settings be- 
fore you can use the feature. 

On the Browsing tab, click Auto- 
Fill Settings and complete the Name 
and Primary Address sections. Next, 
choose whether you want AutoFill to 
use the address you just entered as 
a primary address or an alternate 
address when Web pages ask for a 
shipping address. If you select An 
Alternate Address, click the Add/Edit 
Alternate Address button, add the al- 
ternate shipping address, and click 
OK. Including your credit card in- 
formation is an optional step, but if 
you trust Google with this, click 
Add/Edit Credit Card. In the Credit 
Card Information dialog box, com- 
plete the required information and 
click OK. Click OK in the AutoFill 
Settings dialog box to wrap up your 
AutoFill settings. 

The other two tabs, Search and 
More, offer you more preferences to 
customize your Toolbar. Select the 
options you want and click OK. You 
can return to the Toolbar Options di- 
alog box as frequently as you want. 

The Google Search box may be the 
most pedestrian of the Toolbar's fea- 
tures, but it could be what you use 
most. The search box saves you the 
time of returning to Google's home 



Avoid popups thanks to the Popup Blocker 



; ■:■■ ■ 

• You see this icon: 
^1 blocked 

• This mouse cursor: 



the popup blocker button to disable it for a site. 



; ! 



Your silent ally, the Popup Blocker 
stamps out pop-up ads in the 
background as you blissfully surf along. 



90 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



page to perform a Google search. Type 
a search term in the box from any 
Web page you're visiting and press 
ENTER. For Google searching tips, see 
"Gateway To The Web" on page 26. 
Think of the Google Search box as a 
portable version of Google you can 
take with you to any Web page. 

In addition to a general Google 
search, you can add buttons that will 
search other Google sites. For ex- 
ample, when you click Options and 
the Search tab, you can add Google 
search buttons to your Toolbar by 
checking their respective checkboxes. 
If you want to search Google Images 
for Edgar Degas paintings, type Edgar 
Degas in the search box, but click the 
Google Images button instead of 
pressing ENTER. Follow the same 
procedure to search Google Groups, 
Froogle, or the Web site currently dis- 
played in your browser (if applicable), 
or to run an I'm Feeling Lucky search. 

Blocking pop -up ads can save you a 
mountain of time, but there are some 
Web sites that use pop-ups for addi- 
tional content, and Google's Popup 
Blocker occasionally blocks these, too. 
If you're visiting a Web page with 
useful pop-ups, click the Popup 
Blocker button on the Toolbar. Its 
message should change from "XX 
blocked," where XX is the cumulative 
number of pop-ups it has blocked 
since installation, to "Popups okay." 
When you visit a different Web site, 
the Popup Blocker will resume block- 
ing pop-ups. 

Using SpellCheck to correct an 
email message is probably one of the 
easiest ways to see this feature in ac- 
tion. When you finish typing, click 
the SpellCheck button. The Toolbar 
will point out misspelled words by 
underlining them, holding them, and 
changing their font color. When you 
click these words, SpellCheck offers 
its suggestions and gives you options 
to ignore, edit, or add the flagged 
word to your Dictionary. Click the 
SpellCheck button again to disable it. 

AutoLink takes an address on a 
Web page and summons the power of 



If Google Ran The Web 



Consider briefly Google's own 
assessment of the Toolbar's 
PageRank display: "Wondering 
whether a new Web site is worth your 
time? Use the Toolbar's PageRank dis- 
play to tell you how Google's algo- 
rithms assess the importance of the 
page you're viewing." Although we're 
grateful for Google's wonderfully ef- 
fective algorithms, how does one re- 
ally assess a word as subjective as 
"important"? With that in mind, we 
visited some of our favorite Web sites. 
And just in case our boss happens to 
be reading this, all of that Friday after- 
noon Web surfing was for research 
purposes. Honest! Without further 
ado, here are 10 noteworthy Web 
sites and PageRank's take on them: 
Google (www.google.com). It's 
almost silly to cover the ins and outs 
of Google in this issue without listing 
it as a favorite site, and PageRank 
seemed to agree, rating Google a per- 
fect 10/10. 

CNN (www.cnn.com). As journalists 
ourselves, we like to stay abreast of 
the latest happenings around the 
world. We typically turn to CNN's 
Web site for a quick rundown of the 
day's current events. PageRank also 
thought the media giant was impor- 
tant, giving it a 9/10 rating. CNN rival 
FOXNews.com? An 8/10. 
Amazon (www.amazon.com). What 
better way to relieve the stress of a 
long day at work than to plop down 
in front of an online retailer for a little 
cybershopping? PageRank must think 
otherwise because it gave poor 
Amazon.com a 0/10. 
Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com). 
Whether you approve or disapprove 
of the online ticketing colossus' 
sometimes hefty fees, Ticketmaster 
remains the Web's primary domestic 
portal to live music, sports, and the- 
ater events. After the Amazon de- 
bacle, we thought PageRank would 
turn from Ticketmaster, but it 
handed out an 8/10. 



Microsoft (www.microsoft.com). Your 
one-stop shop for nearly everything 
under Microsoft's giant umbrella, 
Microsoft's Web site is a staple in our 
computing diet. With a 9/10 rating, 
PageRank agrees. 

eBay (www.ebay.com). Online auc- 
tioneer eBay is usually the first place we 
visit for ancient relics, hard-to-find 
knickknacks, or grilled cheese sandwich 
artwork. We're fairly certain that 
PageRank is a closet eBayer because it 
gave the site a 9/10. 
The Internet Movie Database 
(www.imdb.com). This Web site is al- 
most as much fun as playing "Six 
Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and is perfect 
for double-checking if that cameo role 
in a particular flick was one of our fa- 
vorite actors. PageRank also liked it, 
scoring it an 8/10. 

Snapfish (www.snapfish.com). There 
are plenty of online photo storage sites 
that let you share and print your digital 
photos, and we chose Snapfish to see if 
PageRank approved. According to 
PageRank, which scored Snapfish a 
7/10, finding a home for your digital 
photos is pretty important. 
Smart Computing (www.smart 
computing.com). We admit that 
sometimes we're not above a little 
shameless self-promotion, so we de- 
cided to see what PageRank thought 
of our hard work. We were mildly im- 
pressed to see PageRank hand Smart 
Computings 7/10. 

White House (www.whitehouse.gov). 
Truthfully, we rarely surf over to the 
leader of the free world's Web site, so 
our visit to the online Oval Office was 
sparked more out of curiosity than any- 
thing else. Apparently, Google is more 
important than our nation's Executive 
Branch, because PageRank rated the 
White House's Web site a mere 9/10. 
And in case you were curious, Web sites 
for the House of Representatives and 
Senate both received 9/10 rankings, 
while the U.S. Supreme Court's site 
scored a 8/10. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 91 



Google Tools 



Go gle 



Well 



Search 



Web 

water buffalo 



Results 1 - 10 of abc 




'M 



Anim-allnf.:.- ~V :: Water Buffalo 

■ ■:• ■:•■;•';.' """ " •■ ■ ■' ■' ■ ! " ■' " ■' " ' ■ 

VV.:..:..:l-:.t.:..:t- Water Buffalo - Star Hill Dairy 



■. , .... ■. ■,... . ■ . ■ . 

l.uffalo.htm -16k- 



The best part about the Highlight feature is that it never 
runs out of ink. 



Google Maps and Google Earth (see 
"Are We There Yet?" on page 55 and 
"A View From Above" on page 104 for 
more information about these Google 
features) to play Sacagawea to your 
Meriwether Lewis (or William Clark, if 
you prefer). Click the AutoLink button 
(the button's text may change to Look 
For Map) when you have an address 
you want to look up. The Toolbar will 
turn all U.S. addresses on the current 
page into links. Click the link you want, 
and Google Maps loads a map and flags 
the address whose link you clicked. 




Once Maps pins 
down a selected ad- 
dress' location, you 
have a few more op- 
tions. In the upper- 
left corner of the 
map, there are four 
directional buttons 
that shift your view 
of the map in the 
appropriate direc- 
tion. A slider located 
just below the four 
directional buttons 
lets you zoom in 
for greater detail or 
zoom out to see a 
broader geograph- 
ical area. For driving 
directions, locate the 
To Here and From 
Here links and click the link that ap- 
plies to you. End by adding either a 
starting or ending address and clicking 
Get Directions. 

To see a satellite image of the ad- 
dress, click Satellite in the upper- 
right corner of the map. You can 
navigate to a different part of the 
satellite image and zoom in/out just 
as you would in standard map view, 
but it may take the satellite image a 
few seconds to catch up. Finally, 
Google will graft street names onto 
major streets in the satellite image if 
you click Hybrid. 

Using AutoFill after you've pro- 
vided the proper information (pri- 
mary address, shipping address, etc.) 
is virtually automatic. When you're at 
a Web page that requires any infor- 
mation you included in the AutoFill 



We located America's 
greatest ballpark by 
typing Wrigley Field 
address in the search box 
and clicking the 
AutoLink button when 
Google finished its 
search. Then we clicked 
one of the links it created 
to bring up a map. 



settings, the Toolbar highlights any 
fields it can fill with AutoFill. Click 
the AutoFill button and OK when 
AutoFill warns you about only using 
it on sites you trust. If you clear the 
Don't Show This Message Again 
checkbox, AutoFill will warn you the 
next time you use it. This feature 
works well with sites that don't store 
your information or sites you visit for 
the first time. 

WordTranslator, Highlight, and 
Word Find round out the Toolbar 
experience. To use these features, 
enable them in the Toolbar Options 
dialog box. When you click the 
checkbox to enable WordTranslator, 
Google prompts you that doing so 
has privacy implications. To learn 
more, click Help in the dialog box. 
Otherwise, click OK. Next, click 
Translator Settings, select the lan- 
guage you want from the drop -down 
menu, and click OK. To enable 
Highlight and Word Find, click the 
More tab and put a check mark in 
each feature's checkbox. Click OK. 
To see English words translated, just 
hover your pointer over them. 
Highlight and Word Find are fairly 
self-explanatory. 

Browser Power 

At the end of the day, the Google 
Toolbar is little more than an acces- 
sory kit for Internet Explorer or 
Firefox, but it's still one heck of a kit. 
Considering how easy it to download, 
configure, and use, the Toolbar is 
available at a pretty competitive price. 
(You can't beat free.) 

You probably won't use every fea- 
ture on the Toolbar. In fact, you 
might not find it useful enough to 
keep. (If so, click the Google button 
located to the left of the Toolbar 
search box, point to Help, and click 
Uninstall and Uninstall The Google 
Toolbar.) Either way, the Toolbar is 
stuffed with goodies waiting for you 
to sample, [jjs] 

BY VlNCE COGLEY 



92 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Search Engine Jr. 



Google Brings Its Expertise To Your Desktop 




For the organizationally chal- 
lenged among us, finding files 
on our computers can be a har- 
rowing task. If the file system on 
your computer resembles a cluttered 
garage in which you're as likely to get 
tetanus as you are to find what you're 
looking for, then the Google Desktop 
personal search engine can clear the 
confusion. (No shots required.) 

From The Internet To Your Desktop 

Google's Internet search engine 
gained fame for its ability to quickly re- 
turn relevant search results for billions 
of Web pages, but now Google is taking 
a whack at the comparatively minuscule 
desktop. But wait, doesn't Windows al- 
ready come with a search utility? 

Goodbye, Rover. If you've ever tried 
to search for a file using Windows' 
built-in Search or Find utility, 
then you know that Microsoft 
has some catching up to do in 
this area. When you attempt to 
search for an item using this 
search tool, the results can take 
several minutes to display, es- 
pecially if you have a large 



hard drive packed with a 
lot of files. Although the 
search tool does come 
with an Indexing Service 
to help speed up your 
local searches, it still re- 
quires that you have a 
saved copy of the item in 
question. Also, because 
this utility is focused on 

your local hard drive, it 

ignores your past Internet 
activity. If you ended your chat session 
without saving it, or want to view a 
Web page you looked at last week, then 
Windows' Search isn't much help. 

Hello, Google Desktop. The Google 
Desktop personal search engine repre- 
sents a more efficient way to find your 
files among the jumbled heap that is 
most of our computers. 

Google Desktop does a better job 
than Microsoft's built-in tool in large 
part because it is faster, more com- 
prehensive, and best of all, automatic. 
Google's personal search engine can 
quickly return results because it auto- 
matically creates a systematic guide to 
the contents of your hard drive and 
caches (saves) compressed versions of 
the other items you've viewed (such 
as Web pages, emails, and chat ses- 
sions). Immediately after you install 
the application, Google Desktop be- 
gins creating this guide. 

This guide, or index, is a kind of 
summary composed of your PC's file 



Hey Rover, can you 
search my desktop 
and several billion 
Web pages seemingly 
instantaneously? 
Didn't think so. 



© - d d © p*-* *— e & 



Go^de 





Google Desktop takes 
just a few minutes to 
download and install. 



You can download 
Google's personal 
desktop search engine 
from desktop.google.com. 




names, as well as the text 

contents of compatible 

file types and cached 
copies of Web pages and chat sessions. 
Every time you enter a query, Google 
Desktop quickly checks the index and 
instantly displays your results. Google 
stores the index on your computer at 
C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\ 
USERNAME\LOCAL SETTINGS\AP- 
PLICATION DATA\GOOGLE\Goo- 
gle Desktop Search, Username. 
(Username refers to the administra- 
tor's username and C: refers to your 
system's primary drive or partition.) 

Google's initial indexing of your 
hard drive is not a quick process, how- 
ever, and can consume a fair amount of 
system resources. For this reason 
Google designed the desktop search ap- 
plication to perform its indexing while 
your computer is idle, or in a powered- 
on but not in-use state. 

File types. Google's personal search 
engine also differs from Microsoft's 
built-in search tool in that it can search 
a wider range of items. Google Desktop 
provides a full text search of your 
emails, computer files, chats, and the 
Web pages you've viewed. When the 
indexing process is complete, you'll be 
able to search Microsoft Outlook and 
Outlook Express emails; Web pages; 
Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, 
Netscape Mail, and Adobe PDF (Por- 
table Document Format) files; the 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 93 



Google Tools 



mSIl* 'I v \ Search Web ' > 3 ^ Form Fill - Q Allowed - <* ~ 



Go^qIc 

DesktooORETA 



To continue, please set these initial preferences: 




Set Google as my default search engine in Internet Explon 



Once installation is complete, you can 
set your preferences in the subsequent 
browser window. 



metadata (data describing the file, such 
as artist, date, and size) of music, 
image, and video files; and AOL Instant 
Messenger chats. 

You can also download separate 
plug- ins for indexing other file types. 
Third-party software developers can use 
the Google Desktop SDK (Software 
Development Kit) for letting Google 
Desktop index images, proprietary text 
and spreadsheet file formats, audio files, 
chats, and files from other email clients 
that Google Desktop doesn't already 
support. If you visit desktop. google 
xom/plugins, you can browse a list of 
plug-ins for users and developers. Click 
the Indexing link beneath the For Users 
heading at the left side of the page to 
see a list of plug-ins that let Google 
Desktop index items such as MP3 audio 
file metadata, Microsoft help files, 
WordPerfect, and StarOffice files. 

Privacy, please. For privacy reasons, 
Google Desktop doesn't index net- 
worked drives, so you aren't able to 
search beyond the computer on which 
you've installed the application. If 
you're the rare user who doesn't need 
to share your computer with anyone 
else, local privacy probably isn't your 
top concern. For the rest of us, how- 
ever, preventing unauthorized users 
from accessing everything we've 



written and viewed is a valid concern. 
To address this, Google created Google 
Desktop so that it can only be installed 
on a single user account and index the 
files created by that user. All other files 
created on different user accounts are 
not indexed (unless they are purposely 
made available to all users). If privacy 
is important, you should consider pro- 
tecting your Windows administrator 
account with a password. 

If you can't avoid prying eyes but 
still don't want others snooping 
around, go to the Google Desktop 
home page and click Preferences. Click 
the Add A File Or Folder To Exclude 
from the Don't Search These Items sec- 
tion of the Preferences page. Next 
browse for the file or folder you don't 
want indexed, or enter its path. To 
delete specific items from the index, 
click the Remove Items link at the top 
of any Google Desktop page. Click the 
checkboxes next to the items you'd like 
to remove, and then click the Remove 
Checked Results button. 

Compatibility. Google requires at 
least a 400MHz Pentium or equivalent 
processor, and at least Windows 2000 
Service Pack 3 or Windows XP. You'll 
also need at least 128MB of RAM and 
1GB of available hard drive space. 
The cached files that compose your 
index don't consume nearly the same 
amount of space as their original 
counterparts, but Google suggests that 
you make sure you have about 4GB of 
drive space available. 

Google Desktop is fully compatible 
with Mozilla Firefox and Internet 
Explorer versions 5.0 and above. The 
application also features partial support 
for other browsers, including Opera 
and AOL's browser. As of this writing, 
Mac and Linux users can't run Google 
Desktop on their computers. 

Google also offers a business version 
of its computer indexing technology, 
called Google Desktop Search for 
Enterprise. (See "Google Desktop 
Search For Enterprise" on page 136 for 
more information.) 

Installation. Make sure you're 
logged on as the administrator, then 



direct your Web browser to the Google 
Desktop download page at desktop 
.google.com. At press time Google was 
offering the English Version 2 Beta and 
version 1.0 in a variety of languages. By 
default this page loads with the English 
(Version 2 Beta) highlighted. 

Once you've viewed the Terms & 
Conditions and Privacy Policy docu- 
ments, click the Agree And Download 
button. Click Save in the File Down- 
load dialog box, select a location for 
the file, and then click Save. Next click 
Run and the Google Desktop Installer 
should launch. It may prompt you to 
close some open applications, such as 
Internet Explorer or Outlook, before 
continuing; click OK to comply. 

Once installation is complete, you'll 
see a Web page prompting you to con- 
figure Google Desktop. You can set 
Google Desktop's search box to appear 
as the Sidebar, Deskbar, or Floating 
Deskbar. The Sidebar is a configurable 
menu that appears on your Windows 
Desktop and displays email, news, a 
scratch pad, weather, photos, and the 
Google Desktop search box. If you 
want something a little more incon- 
spicuous, click the radio button for the 
Deskbar (a search box anchored to 
your Taskbar), or the Floating Deskbar 



- D | 



Goi igk 



@ Tiews « t 

Highway Bill Full of 
Special Projects 
Washington . . 14 min ago 



E3 Email « ▼ 

BBQ this weekend 

Steve S <co ... 1 min ago 



A ^"F Scattered C « ^ 



GOOG 294.92+; « 



You can view Google Desktop's 
search box as the Deskbar, 
Floating Deskbar, or Sidebar. 



94 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



(an undocked search box). 
This page also lets you set 
Google as your default search 
engine and configure Google 
Desktop to search and index 
your Gmail account if you 
have one. When you're fin- 
ished, click the Set Preferen- 
ces And Continue button. 

Next you'll see the Enable 
Advanced Features screen. 
Google Desktop's Advanced 
Features involve sending non- 
personal usage data back to 
Google's servers. This data lets 
Google know which types of 
news items you view in order 
to better tailor your Sidebar. If 
enabled, Google also collects informa- 
tion about the errors you encounter 
while working with Google Desktop, 
similarly to WinXP's error reporting 
feature. Keep in mind that none of 
Google Desktop's options are depen- 
dent on enabling these features, so click 
either Enable or Disable to continue, 
depending on your preference. 

The next page indicates that Google 
Desktop is indexing your PC. Click the 
Go To The Google Desktop Homepage 
button to see the progress of the one- 
time indexing update. This page also 
shows you how many files Google has 
indexed so far, what types of files it has 
indexed, and an estimate of how long 
the full index will take to generate. 



) a gi © p*«* *— e 0- & h - □ a , 



■ - :■•.. ::■■. :■;. . - ■ -. 



Gougle > 



Web 



Results 1 - 10 i: 



- 
- with i Help - 2:42pm 

HTML Help by cm Group 

. . ■ . .■..,.:,■,...■ ■..,..,,...■■ 

www.htmlhelp.com/ - 8k - Aug 21 , 2005 - 



.......... . .■..,.... 

Site About AltaS. ista lelp © 2005 Overtur 

www.altavista.com/- 10k - Aug 21 , 2005 - Cached - Simil. 



1,000,000 for help [ ]. (0.07 seconds) 

Sponsored Links 

ver Is Yes 
The children can be saved 

■"-.■ '. 
www.childre " 

$30 - t250/hr Survey Job 

I Made 18,397 Last Month Filling 

Out Simple Surveys Online! 






. :• ■:<: I ,: ;.y ,'i 











:;• 




ney Us 




■■ 


i 


. 






em 


rcoaliti 
















JBa 



[__] M ft I J ' Search iV Favorites ■€< • . 

.0.0.1:4664/status8s=O: il -C.TD0 J 



Google 

Desktop*-^ eta 



Desktop Status 



Deskti 



One-time index update in progress. 

10% complete with about 0.1 idle hours left. 
560 items indexed so far. 

Indexing is performed when your computer is idle. 

Number of items Time of newest item 



\& Total searchable items 

_i Emails 
$ Chats 
£j Web history 
J Files 



3:40pm 

Nov 11 



3o :" 



To view Google Desktop's indexing 
status, right-click the System Tray icon 
and then click Index Status. 



Google Desktop displays the results stored on you computer 
first, followed by the Web results. 



Because the indexing occurs while 
your computer is idle (for 30 seconds 
or more) the process can take a long 
time if you use the computer fre- 
quently throughout the day. If you reg- 
ularly turn off your computer when it 
is not in use, try leaving it on overnight 
until the index is complete. You can 
pause the indexing process any time by 
right-clicking the Google Desktop icon 
in your Windows Desktop System Tray 
and clicking Pause Indexing. If you 
don't manually resume the process by 
clicking the Resume Indexing option in 
the context menu, then Google Desk- 
top will resume automatically once 15 
minutes has elapsed. 

In our test run of the indexing 
process, it took only about half an hour 
to index an 80GB hard drive con- 
taining 26,065 files. 

Forget Filing & Start Googling 

Using Google's personal search en- 
gine is fairly intuitive, just click the text 
box of your Sidebar, Deskbar, or 
Floating Deskbar, and then type your 
search query. Press ENTER and your 
default browser will launch and display 
the results. At the top of the page, 
you'll find numbered results for items 
on your hard drive, followed by Web 
results. Click the links for the num- 
bered results to see them, with the most 
recent results listed at the top. You can 



U [ 



also sort your results by rele- 
vance; click the Sort By 
Relevance link near the 
upper-right corner of your 
Google Desktop results page. 

Google Desktop also in- 
cludes the Quick Find fea- 
ture, which, when enabled, 
begins displaying results for 
your query as you type. For 
instance, when you start 
typing "wedding photos" 
into the Deskbar, Google's 
Quick Find window first dis- 
plays everything relevant 
that begins with a "w." The 

search results narrow with 

each additional letter you 
type, and your wedding photos may 
appear in the Quick Find window 
after just typing "wed." Google Desk- 
top uses a second index and a new 
search algorithm to display these re- 
sults so quickly. 

Get specific. Google Desktop, like 
Google's Internet search engine, lets 
you perform detailed searches using 
advanced search operators, or sym- 
bols and characters that enable special 
functions. You can search for exact 
phrases using quotes, for instance, by 
typing "computer virus" into the 
Deskbar and pressing ENTER. This 
operator displays results that contain 
that exact phrase. You can also ex- 
clude specific words from your search 
by typing the minus sign (-) before 
the word you want to exclude. For in- 
stance, typing holiday photos -2004 
will likely return holiday photos from 
every year on file except for 2004. 

You can even narrow your email 
search by typing subject:, to:, from:, 
cc:, or bcc:, followed (without a space) 
by the word(s) you want to find in the 
appropriate fields. For instance, if you 
type subject:virus and press ENTER, 
Google Desktop will display all emails 
that include the word "virus" in the 
subject line. To search for individual 
file types, you'll want to use the "file- 
type:" operator, [jjs] 

by Andrew Leibman 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 95 



Google Tools 



Windows Desktop Search vs. Google Desktop 



In their quest for superiority, Microsoft 
and Google have crossed paths (and 
stepped on each other's toes) on more 
than one occasion. We took a look at 
Windows Desktop Search (part of 
Microsoft's MSN Toolbar offering) and 
Google Desktop to compare the user in- 
terfaces, features, and search results. 

Like Google's personal search appli- 
cation, Windows Desktop Search cre- 
ates an index to quickly return search 
results for your queries. You can view 
the status of the indexing after installing 
the MSN Toolbar Suite by right-clicking 
the Desktop Search icon in the System 
Tray and then clicking Indexing Status. 
You can also pause and restart the in- 
dexing process in the context menu 
that appears when you right-click the 
Desktop Search icon in the System Tray. 
To configure your indexing preferences, 
click the MSN logo in the MSN Search 
Toolbar and then click MSN Search 
Toolbar Options. 

Currently, the Windows Desktop 
Search is a bit more limited in its support 
for searchable file types. Supported types 
include a variety of text files, Microsoft 
Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, 
Outlook and Outlook Express items, 
Web pages, and the metadata of music, 
image, and video files. You can also in- 
stall plug-ins for additional file types, 
such as Adobe PDF (Portable Document 
Format) documents. 

This Desktop's Not Big Enough For Two 

To see how the two applications 
compared, we installed both on a test 
computer and searched for files 



I Search Desktop ^ 



without entering the specific names, or 
locations of any one file. We started by 
typing music into the search boxes of 
both Google Desktop and Windows 
Desktop Search. Google returned 180 
files, and 12 cached Web pages. The 
top results were the most recent, and 
consisted mostly of 
cached Web pages. 
The next dozen 
items were text files 
that mentioned the 
word "music" in 
them. We had to 

scroll past more than 75 items before 
we actually encountered an audio file. 
The Windows Desktop Search re- 
turned just 126 results; however, the 
top three were WMA (Windows Media 
Audio) music files, followed by a 
healthy mix of text files, file folders, 
and Windows Media Player playlists. 
The results didn't include any cached 
Web pages. Windows Desktop Search's 
list of supported file types states Web 
pages, but nothing about cached Web 
pages you've already viewed. 

Next we tested Windows Desktop 
Search and Google Desktop with date 
queries. We typed 2004 into Windows 
Desktop Search and pressed ENTER. It 
returned 1,426 results, the first hun- 
dred or so of which were folders that 
either had 2004 in the file name or 
contained files that had 2004, or 04 in 
the file name. Google Desktop re- 
turned 1,011 hits, nine of which were 
cached Web pages. Google's results 
seemed almost devoid of folders, but 
included a bevy or relevant documents 
dated from 2004. 



Finally we tested each personal 
search engine by looking for specific file 
types. We typed .jpg into each search 
box to find JPEG (Joint Photographic 
Experts Group) image files and then 
pressed ENTER. Windows Desktop 
Search returned 463 local results, while 



i 



Is your Taskbar big enough for Windows Desktop Search 
and Google Desktop? 



Google Desktop displayed 773 results, 
seven of which were cached Web pages. 
Though both utilities showed thumb- 
nails of the image files they found, 
Google's search utility seemed to per- 
form the deeper scan, finding some 
JPEG images that Windows Desktop 
Search missed entirely. 

In the end, though the results were 
varied, the outcome wasn't surprising. 
Google Desktop's strengths seem to lie 
in its wider range of searchable file 
types, recalling the Web pages you've 
viewed, and finding individual files. 
Windows Desktop Search benefits from 
being able to integrate other Microsoft 
products, and seems to have a better 
handle on file folders, and file types (es- 
pecially proprietary Microsoft file 
types). At this point, neither applica- 
tion seems to be the ultimate desktop 
search utility, so to get the most com- 
plete search capabilities, you might 
consider using both Windows Desktop 
Search and Google Desktop. I 




Google Desktop's 
Quick Find window 
can display results 
before you've even 
finished typing. 











Windows Desktop Results Q |XJ 
Pictures & Videos 






TJ hmc.jpg 

MTestOl (Google Earth). jpg 

tf| Combo JPG 

[|§ IMGA0040.JPG 

©IMGA0039.JPG v 




^fiP9 0§) * '# 



Windows Desktop 
Search can display 
your results as 
quickly as Google 
Desktop. 



96 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Meet Blogger 

Join The Web Log Craze With This Google Tool 



&** 



■j-* 1 






6** 



***** . ,****■" 



, **'' 



Maybe you're the type of 
person who has an opin- 
ion on everything from 
Keynesian economics to 
non-Euclidian geometry and isn't 
afraid to share it with anyone. Per- 
haps you like discovering strange 
news stories on the Web and for- 
warding them on to your friends. 
Wouldn't it be great if there was a 
way you could cut out some of the 
legwork and keep everyone informed 
or entertained at the same time? 
Google has a tool that can do just 
that. It's called Blogger. 

Blogs (short for "Web logs") are one 
of the crazes sweeping the Internet. 
They come in all shapes and sizes, and 
anyone with a computer and a little 
spare time at his disposal can have his 
own, usually for free. Although it's gen- 
erally accepted that blogging pioneer 
Jorn Barger coined the term "Web log" 
in 1997, it's difficult to pin down 
the genesis of the blog. Newsgroups, 





bulletin boards, and online for- 
ums, all of which share character- 
istics with blogs, cropped up 
years before "blog" became 
ingrained in the Inter- 
net's lexicon. 

You can use a blog 
for a number of tasks. 
For example, you can 
post pictures and high- 
lights of your next family 
vacation while you're still 
on vacation (at the collec- 
tive swooning of the post- 
card industry). You can 
pontificate about current 
events or simply provide 
links to articles about the 
events to readers. Essentially, 
you can use your blog to dis- 
seminate almost any kind of in- 
formation you want, and maybe that's 
why blogs are so appealing. 

Using Blogger, Google's spin on 
the phenomenon, is almost as easy as 
running a simple Web search. It only 
takes a few minutes to establish a free 
account, and you can use Blogger 
Images to change your blog from 
bland to extra spicy with lots 
of images. We'll guide you 
through the process of regis- 
tering for an account, bring- 
ing it to life with your ideas, 
and making it dance with pic- 
tures. We'll even give you a 
firsthand look at our Blogger 
blog — our own little corner 
of cyberspace. 



Humble Beginnings 

It wasn't all fun and games for the 
folks behind the magic at Blogger. San 
Francisco-based Pyra Labs started 
Blogger in 1999, one year after Google 
itself burst on the scene. By its own 
admission, Blogger was successful, but 
the company took its lumps along 
with countless other companies 
during the dot-com collapse that 
began in 2000. The company ran out 
of money but managed to keep its ser- 
vice running virtually nonstop. 

Then in 2002 Google wanted to 
buy Blogger and take the service 
under its wing. Already boasting 
hundreds of thousands of members, 
Blogger became a team within Goo- 
gle, and the rest is history. 

Blog This Way 

Although you can create a mar- 
velously intricate masterpiece with 
Blogger with enough time, the nuts 
and bolts of setting up your own blog 
are remarkably straightforward. First, 
open a Web browser with an active 
Internet connection, head to Blog- 
ger's home page (www.blogger.com), 
and click Create Your Blog Now. 
Enter the following information in 
the respective fields: User Name (this 
is the name you'll use to log on to 
your Blogger account), Password, 
Display Name (this is the name you'll 



F 7 



EiM Vferr Fwrarlm, Twjfc Ht*j 






» 




^p*«« e &■ 








B»k - j x) Z\ , 5mJi 


Co gle- 


*» 




■■' fiMt*tfnwn.btonkj(aAWgn«.f 






vfl to 


£| menu. Life ^ F ™ fw,Mi ^ ***••« * 


>*h™ ^WMfepi ttwi 




■ &5ii«wn \*f 




B Blogger 





You can create a Blogger 

account, give your blog a title, 

and select a template for it in 

about as much time as it takes 

to check your email. 



Oct 



eate an account 



[Mei a paHwvid 




*mt bf. .it tovrt A 


R*lype [MttWtt i] 




Frvfi-r if «£nln JiKt fn Hi- 


It ■!•., ii ii" 


Hijniih Cmm 


irwjr blott pub. 


[iii,.ii uliiiov; 


ii '. ,. .■■[ i!i'i.;il,:iiri 


W« trill nvwihvw 
voui- ad; t;.- «-;h tNrd 


*K*f>t«K*«rT*ii»t 


ItccKrtthtTtiffuolferifce 


% 









I At»Mil Bui: I Ik*. I iKittootu 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 97 



Google Tools 



p» 



File Edit Viev Tools Help 

^Back - © - [*] [3J] 'ii /"'Search ^Favorites 0- * Google - |p 

■ .. ..■■■■.■ 

Links g| Customize Links | Free Hotmail Windows Media Home _. Windows . - Windows Marketplace 



B Blogger 



C RE ATE ACC U NT NAM E BLOG 



3QGO 



^ Name your blog 





G 








Enter 




Bloc, title 


The Cran 


3's Nest 




a title for your 














O 








You a 




Blot; aidless 


http://cr 




.blogjpot.com 


nd others will use 



Word Verification 



^&en 



this to read and [ink to 
your blog. 

Type the characters 



drfrenl 



it to host your bio; Try . This will 

.. ....:■ ........'... .... ' 



Home | About | Buzz | H- '99 - 2005 Google 



• Internet 



The blog address you choose will be the URL others will 
use to access your blog. 



■:•.-.'. 



QBack - L^j l^] i Search ; ;V Favorites &f 



Google- £ 



^■s e; 



'.'. '.."■ . • ■"" '" ' ' :•■: 



.--.■. - .-• 



B The Crane's Nest 



I Posting Sej smplate View B 

Create Edit posts Status 



v Normal Size v hi Tfli If 



Edit HTML Compose 

I a V SJ a p™* 




For keyboar i = Bold, 1 = Italic, 5 = Publish, D = Draft roare » 

nts on This Post Change Time ft Date 
© Yes O No |2 v| ; 03 PM Aug v] |lS v|[2DD5 v| 



L_ 



a Intern. 



An empty canvas awaits your creative genius every time 
you create a new post. 



use to "sign" your blog entries), and 
Email Address. Click the I Accept The 
Terms Of Service checkbox (after 
clicking the link to read the terms, of 
course) and click Continue. 

On the next screen, you'll name your 
blog and give it its own URL. This is a 
lot like having your own Web site that 
your friends and family can visit when 
they're surfing the Internet. As an alter- 
native, you can click Advanced Blog 
Setup if you want to host your blog 
somewhere away from Blogger, but we 
only recommend doing this if you have 
a good working knowledge of FTP (File 
Transfer Protocol) servers and third- 
party hosting (providing space for and 
placing a customer's Web page or site 
on a commercial server). When you 
enter a name and URL for your blog 
and fill in the Word Verification field 
with the letters you see, click Con- 
tinue. Blogger will ask you to submit a 
different blog title and/or URL if an- 
other user has already claimed your 
first choice(s). 

Picking a predesigned template is the 
final step in creating your blog. Click 



Preview Template below any of the 
templates to see a larger example of the 
template. When you decide on a design 
that strikes your fancy, click next to its 
title and click Continue. Blogger will 
display the message "Your blog has 
been created!" when your blog is ready 
to go. Click Start Posting to put some 
meat on your blog's bones. 

Lesson 1: Classroom Procedure 

Let's face it. You can gussy up your 
blog with endless photos 
(and truthfully, photo- 
blogs — blogs consisting of 
primarily images with very 
little text — have populated 
the Web alongside tradi- 
tional blogs), but at the end 
of the day, bloggers who 
want their writing to shine 
should first focus on the text 



and let everything else be the icing on 
the cake. 

Your first order of business should 
be to familiarize yourself with the 
Blogger Dashboard. Think of the 
Dashboard as your base of operations; 
from the Dashboard, you can access 
your blog, create another blog, and/or 
edit your profile. Or, if you're look- 
ing for inspiration, head to the Dash- 
board to read blogs from others in the 
Blogger community. 

After you register for a Blogger ac- 
count and return to the home page, 



Audioblogger 



Sing a song, recite a poem, 

or bellow a cheer with 

Audioblogger; it's free, too. 



EBSEBM- 




Get 


your 


voice on 


the web: 


( 


s 


v t,: 


mited Audi* posts from any 
your B logger blog 


\ 


*S. 


^fc • 3 easy step set-up 


415-856-0205 ■ share V n 


r the road 




Just dial 




u car post audio to yo 

E3 3C 


any phone, 
lly be posted! 





lioppol* 






98 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



sign in at the top of the page to access 
your Dashboard. Enter your username 
and password in their appropriate 
fields and click Sign In. You should 
see the name of the blog you created 
in the Blogs area at the top of your 
Dashboard page. Ambitious bloggers 
who feel like spilling their thoughts on 
a variety of subjects can click Create A 
Blog, and Blogger will guide you 
through creating additional blogs. 

Your profile. Before you dig in and 
get your hands dirty with a little Hog- 
ging, you might want to edit your 
profile. Your profile can contain all 
the essential information (and some 
unessential information) your in- 
quiring fans will doubtless want to 
know. To change it, click Edit Profile 
on your Dashboard. If you select the 
Share My Profile checkbox, everyone 
who visits your blog will be able to 
view the information you include. For 
example, you can change your display 
name, add a photo or audio message, 
and include information about your 
location, job, and interests. When 
you've finished updating your profile, 
click Save Profile. You can edit your 
profile as often as you want. 

AdSense. Not only is Blogger free, 
you can actually use it with Google's 
AdSense program to make money, 
although you'll need a healthy 
amount of traffic to generate a 
worthwhile amount of income. 
Briefly, Google AdSense is a rev- 
enue-generating program that posts 
an ad column on your blog similar 



Blogger Mobile: Blogs To Go 



S Audioblogger 






Phone Info 



□□d 



w 



ith Blogger Mobile, you don't need a computer to keep blogging. If your 
mobile device, such as a cellular phone, PDA (personal digital assistant), 
or BlackBerry is capable of sending an email, you can update your blog with both 
text and photographs from pretty much anywhere within your wireless service 
provider's coverage area. (At press time, Verizon, AT&T, Cingular, Sprint, and 
T-Mobile were the only providers compatible with Blogger Mobile, but Blogger 
claims it will be expanding the list in the future.) 

True to the Blogger spirit, making mobile blog entries might initially seem like a 
daunting task, but it's not too difficult with a little practice. When you send an MMS 
(Multimedia Messaging Service; a service that lets you send images, sound, and video 
in addition to text) message or email to go@blogger.com, Blogger creates a mobile 
blog for you and sends you its URL and a code you can use to claim your mobile 
post. Be aware that even though Mobile Blogger is free, you're still bound to any fees 
your wireless service provider charges you for sending MMS or email messages. 

Your mobile blog can exist independently, or you can incorporate it into an ex- 
isting blog. If you want a separate mobile blog, continue sending emails MMS mes- 
sages to go@blogger.com, and Blogger will continue to do all of the legwork and 
update your mobile blog. Just refer your readers to the URL Blogger sent you. 

To add mobile posts to a blog you already have, open a Web browser with an ac- 
tive Internet connection and go to go.blogger.com. Enter the code Blogger emailed 
you in the Claim Token field. In the Verify Your Registration field, type the randomly 
generated string of characters you see just above the field and click Continue. On 
the next screen, click Continue As This User. When Blogger asks you to claim your 
mobile blog, click the Switch To "XXXX" radio button, where "XXXX" is your blog's 
title, and click Continue. Blogger will send the post to your existing blog. Repeat 
these steps to add future mobile posts to your original blog. I 



□ 



^X> 



to what you see after you perform a 
basic Google search. These ads are 
relevant to your blog's content, so 
you won't see ads for coffee ma- 
chines if you blog about exotic travel 
destinations. Inquisitive, entrepre- 
neurial bloggers can turn to "The Ins 
& Outs Of AdSense" on page 132 for 
more information. 

Blogger Help. Using 
Blogger is a lot like playing 
chess. It doesn't take long 
to learn the basics, but be- 
coming a master takes a lot 
of practice. Fortunately, 
Blogger's Help section is 
fairly robust and should 



When you sign up for an 
Audioblogger account, you 
have to list a primary phone 
number and a PIN number 
to claim your audio posts. 



help you tackle a number of fairly 
specific questions. You'll find 
Blogger's help section located just 
below the Ad- Sense Invite. 

The two links, Blogger Knowledge 
(which at press time redirected us to 
Blogger Buzz, or buzz.blogger.com) 
and Blogger Help (help.blogger.com) 
each contain different useful informa- 
tion. The two are aptly named: Blogger 
Knowledge (or Blogger Buzz, depend- 
ing on how you get to it) contains 
regular updates of blog-related hap- 
penings inside and outside of the 
Blogger world, and Blogger Help 
covers all of the basics and has ad- 
vanced tips for seasoned vets. 

Lesson 2: Composition 

In truth, you can start blogging im- 
mediately after you create your blog. 
You'll have to edit your profile and 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 99 



Google Tools 



probably read a number of Help 
topics before you can construct a pol- 
ished blog, but there's no reason you 
can't start putting your thoughts 
down right away. 

After you have signed in, look at the 
Blogs area of your Dashboard page. 
To create a new post, click the plus 
sign (+) that appears to the immediate 
right of your blog's name. You can 
start typing in the field provided. 
Making a blog post is very similar to 
composing an email to someone with 
a Web-based email service, such as 
Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Gmail. 

Start with a basic blog entry. Com- 
pose an entry as long as you like by 
typing in the empty field. When 
you've finished, click Save As Draft 
or Publish Post. If you click Save As 
Draft, Blogger will save the entry and 
let you access it later for any revi- 
sions you feel it might need. When 
you sign on at a later time and click 
the name of your blog on your 
Dashboard page, you will see any 
posts you have saved as drafts. Click 
the Edit button, make the necessary 
changes, and click Publish Post. (You 
can also click Delete instead of Edit if 
you don't want to keep a particular 
saved post.) 

When you click Publish Post, 
Blogger will publish it on the Web and 
notify you with the message, "Your 
blog published successfully." At this 



B Blogger 



Sample Blog 



ere your description 
Your description 



MY PROFILE 






John Doe 
Location: 

Oakland, CA 






'his is a short amount of text 
iboutthe user pulled from 
heir profile. It's not real text, 

ates how much of 
he user's profile t 
night be displayed?,,, 




juncture you view 
your blog with the 
new entry (click 
View Blog). First, 
click either Repub- 
lish Index Only or 
Republish Entire 
Blog. For blogging 
newbies just get- 
ting their blogs off 
the ground, there 
isn't an appreciable 
difference between 
these options. But 
as a blog grows 
larger and more 
complex, repub- 
lishing it in its en- 
tirety may take 
longer than simply republishing 
its index. 

There's obviously a lot more to 
blogging than dumping a bunch of 
text from your brain with furious 
typing. By clicking on the Font and 
Normal Size (these appear by default) 
drop-down menus, you can change 
the font style and size of your blog 
posts. Likewise, the other buttons 
should look familiar and apply var- 
ious formatting effects to the text of 
an entry. Click the button with a 
checkmark below the letters "ABC" 
to spell check a post you're working 
on. If you've applied several types of 
formatting to a block of text (for ex- 
ample, you have blue, 
bolded, italicized text) 
and want to remove the 
formatting, highlight 
the text with your 
cursor and click the 
eraser button to remove 
all of the formatting at 
once. 

If you click the Pre- 
view link, Blogger will 
show you a sneak peek 



6 FEBRUARY ; 



• Treas em Wankeing ont Sime 

■■.■:■■.■■'!■:. ■■■■'..■.:.'■.. 

InfuBwain, ghu gil : uw cakiw salo anr 

:.:';:. ■:;■.:■.: 

: ' ' ■■■■.,■:■■ 

sumbloats, 






Aslu unaffoctor gef c. 






anet cak GurGanglo 



• 



Sandhills Crane 


• Edit Profile for View 1 
Password 






Maintenance tomorrow 
Blog Business Summit 



AdSense Invite 






[■id ■,■■■"1 i 


owthaf> 














rogram? 






Would yo 


like to s 


sn 


jp? 


Yes, please. 







Bioggei Help 



Blogger offers more than 2 dozen predesigned templates in 
an effort to please your discriminating palate. 



of what your blog would look like if 
you published your post in its current 
state. This can be helpful if you want 
to see what a post will look like with a 
particular font or where a picture will 
show up amidst your text. 

Lesson 3: Graphic Design 

Shutterbugs, Bob Ross wannabes, 
and anyone feeling visually inclined, 
take note: This is the juicy part for 
you. Even though text is a crucial part 
to any blog, the old adage "a picture 
is worth a thousand words" rings es- 
pecially true for blogs that make 
strategic use of images. 

Posting pictures to your blog used 
to require a combination of two 
other Google programs, Picasa and 
Hello, or a third-party image-host- 
ing site, but the good people of Blog- 
ger have considerably simplified the 
process. To add an image to your 
blog, click the Add Image button. 
(It's the button sandwiched between 
the Check Spelling and Remove 
Formatting From Selection buttons.) 
A new window will open that lets 
you upload images to your entry. If 
you have the image stored on your 
PC, click the Browse button, find the 
right image, and double-click it. To 
add an image that already exists on 
the Web, you need to cut and paste 



Welcome to the 
Dashboard, your point 
of origin for all things 
blogging. 



100 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 




f" . I>l"l»t>-I . "Ill 

more options, 

For more info, read Oii . 








C Iflim tok«n 


This is the 






phone 


Veiifyyom 


ptt^zz 


r.= 




box 




( ^3b 



I Biizz | Hel!> i [^v.^ f£L > !^ h w~. y 



By setting up a Mail-to-Blogger address, you can submit 
posts to your blog via email. 



BLogger 



BLogger Help 



\ 

.-.....■,•.•■. •.',..' 

Browse 
Advanced Use 

Protection and Pnv^j 

Multibloft 

Bloft'Spot Plus 
'■ Template Tags 

Add-Ons 
- Blog^ei Hacks 
i Developers 

B logger Basics 

< jetting 

=nd Editing 



Email 






Article Search 

i i 



Surges ted Reading 

Welcome to Bloftftei ! 
Supported Browsers 
All about the Pest Editoi 
Login [>iffn: ulties? 
Known Issues 

Most Popular 

1 . How do I edit my [ink 
list? 

2. How do I post pi ' 

3. Can I use keyboard 
- 

4. What does the Link field 
do? 

5. 

feed set ; 



Blogger Help (help.blogger.com) has tips for virtually 
every skill level of blogger. 



its URL into — drum roll, please — 
the URL field. 

Next, decide on a text wrap option 
for your image in the Choose A 
Layout area of the Blogger: Upload 
Images window. Sample illustrations 
will give you an idea of how the 
image will appear with your text. 
Click Small, Medium, or Large for 
Image Size and make sure the Use 
This Layout Every Time? checkbox is 
empty if you want to use a different 
layout for subsequent images. Click 
Upload Image to finish adding a pic- 
ture. When Blogger displays the mes- 
sage "Your image has been added." 
click Done. 

When the image appears in your 
blog entry's text, Blogger should ini- 
tially place it at the beginning of the 
text. You can click and drag the image 
to where you would like it in your 
text. It can take a little practice, but 
the process isn't difficult to master. 

Including pictures or other images 
with your blog's text is a fantastic way 
to make your blog pop, but you can 
make other changes to your blog's 
appearance, as well. On your Dash- 
board page, click the Change Settings 
icon. The icon looks like a gear and is 
located to the immediate right of 



the plus icon for creating new posts. 
Clicking Change Settings takes you 
to your blog's settings page. (At the 
top of the page you should see the 
Settings tab selected.) On the first 
page, you can change your blog's title 
and give it a description 500 or fewer 
characters in length. 

There's a veritable cornucopia of 
other settings you can access and ad- 
just by clicking the following links in 
the Settings tab: Publishing, For- 
matting, Comments, Archiving, Site 
Feed, Email, and Members. For ex- 
ample, click Formatting, click Yes in 
the Show Title Field drop-down menu, 
click Save Settings, and you can in- 
clude titles with your individual blog 
entries. To let all your visitors make 
comments about your blog entries 
(not just other Blogger members), 
click Comments, click Anyone in the 
Who Can Comment? drop-down 
menu, and click Save Settings. 

You can also make structural 
changes to your blog, but this requires 
some familiarity with HTML (Hyper- 
text Markup Language, a language 
that tells Web browsers how to dis- 
play Web pages) code. One easy mod- 
ification you can make to your blog is 
changing its Links section. Initially, 



the three links in the section are 
Google News and two Edit Me links. 
To change them start at your 
Dashboard and click the Change 
Settings icon. Click Template and 
scroll down through the code until 
you see the line <! — Begin #sidebar 
— >. Slightly further down you'll see 
the code for the Google News and 
Edit Me links. Using the Google News 
line of code as a guide, you can 
change the Edit Me links, add more 
links, and change Google News to a 
different site. 

For a visual idea of where to look 
to make these changes, take a peek at 
the illustration at the end of this ar- 
ticle. You can make plenty of other 
changes to craft a blog tailored to 
your interests and talents, and Blog- 
ger Help will provide you with an 
ample amount of guidance. 

Lesson 3: Public Speaking 

Blogger's sister site, Audioblogger 
(www.audioblogger.com), gives you 
the opportunity to post audio to your 
blog from any phone. Posts can last 
as long as five minutes; if your wit- 
ticisms continue to flow, Audio- 
blogger gives you the option to record 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 101 



another post at the end of a current 
post. You can submit an unlimited 
number of audio posts when you set 
up an account with Audioblogger. 
And if that doesn't pique your cu- 
riosity, placing an audio post is sim- 
pler than a text post. 

To establish an account with 
Audioblogger, open a Web browser 
with an active Internet connection 
and go to Audioblogger's Web site. 
Click Start Audioblogging Now, 
enter your Blogger User Name and 
Password in their respective fields on 
the next page, and click Continue. 
Next, select the blog you want to 
post your audio to in the drop -down 
menu (if you only have one blog, 
Audioblogger selects it by default) 
and click Continue. On the Phone 
Info screen, enter the primary phone 
number you'll be using to make 
audio posts (but you can make audio 
posts from other phone numbers) 
and choose a 4-digit PIN number. 
When you've filled these fields in, 
click Finish Setup. 

When you have a phone and PIN 
number associated with your Blog- 
ger account, dial (415) 856-0205 
(Audioblogger's dedicated phone 
number at press time) and do your 
thing, following the voice prompts 
as needed. 

Your Final Exam 

Like any good teacher, we've given 
you the basic tools to build a blog as 
unique as you are, but the real chal- 
lenge is actually doing it. Although 
this article will help you with the 
ABCs of Hogging, the rest of the al- 
phabet is waiting for you on Blog- 
ger's Web site. Making text entries 
and adding photos are probably the 
most crucial pieces of the puzzle, but 



we've really only scratched the sur- 
face of the many options available to 
you at Blogger. 

Above everything else, have pa- 
tience with your blog. The best 
blogs didn't spring up overnight, so 
don't be discouraged if it takes a 
while to perfect your blog's format 
and content. The most popular 
blogs have been around for years 



and have taken a long time to de- 
velop a sizable fan following. Re- 
lease your own creative talents, and 
Blogger will do the rest, gs] 



BY VlNCE COGLEY 




in a relatively timely fashion 

request to take a picture of the three of u: 

indication of his 

photography 

skills, I'm lucky 

the picture turned 

out as well as it 

did. 

The second 

picture came 

from an 

afternoon 

adventure 

through Colorado 

wine country. I 

learned two 

things on that 

little odyssey; 

Colorado has some tasty 

.stsdbv Sandhill* C 




Blogger 



Encoding 



English (United States) 



| Universal (Unicode UTF-S) 



Convert [Yes v| 

line breaks 




1 the Post Editoi 



To allow any reader, even someone 
who doesn't have a Blogger account, 
to make posts to your blog, start at 
the Dashboard and click Change 
Settings And Comments. Change Who 
Can Comment? to Anyone, and click 
Save Settings. 




Sandhills Crane 



Age: 24 
Gender: male 
Astrological Sign: Virgo 
Zodiac Year:: Monkey 
Industry: Aits 

Location: 



Favorite Movies 

Wedding Crash : :y Man on Fire 



Your profile can tell your readers everything they 
want to know about you (and maybe some things they 
don't). Starting at the Dashboard, click Edit Profile, 
make your desired changes, and click Save Profile. 



Pos 

Edit c ui lent 



Change the 
Blogger Ma 




<li><a href=**http://www.smartcomputing.com w >Sniart Computing</a></li> 
<li><a href= J *http://www.computerpoweruser.com , '>Computer Power User</a></li> 
<li><a href=*http://www.pctoday.com*>PC Today</a></li> 
<li><a href=**http://www.celifestyles.com" , >CE Lifestyles</a></li> 
<li><a href=*http://www.sandhills.com , *>Saiidhills Publishing</a></li> 



List your favorite Web sites in the Links section of your blog by changing 
your template's HTML. Use the highlighted text as an example. 



After Blogger places an image in the blog entry you're working 
on, you can click and drag it to where you want it in the text. 




jack said... 

Not a bad start! Seariy a genious. 



anonymous said... 

Mrnrn, wine. If: : of rnerlot right 

about now. 



miles raymond said... 

Merlot? Are you not Noir, please. 



bruce dickinson said... 






. Done 



Title Good Times with Old Friends 



j Edit HTML I I Compose 

Normal Size b i T :- V' W W mm ||z IE ^ **) & Preview 



en at an Italian 
..,..'..■.■'. ' 
food was d© /smal. It 

took them a: have the 

presence of mind to realise that when a customer s 
orders a glass of wine, he'd like it served in a 
relatively imely fashion. • least seppe,our 
server, acqui> to take a 

picture of the i 





□ 


□ □ 


5 = Publish, D = Draft more » 1 


Allow Ne 
© Yes O No 


ents on This Post Change Time 8t Date 

j No 6- Hide i i ting . n i ient 7 ; 08 AM Aug 


17 v | 2005 v| 



From the Dashboard, click Change Settings and Formatting. Choose 
Yes for the Show Title Field drop-down box and click Save Settings. 




Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 103 



Google Tools 



A View From 
Above 

Explore Google Earth's Satellite & Aerial Maps 







Google's 
bid to take over the world 
just took a turn for the lit- 
eral. On June 28th, Google 
launched Google Earth, which is a 
searchable collection of satellite and 
aerial images from various providers 
that have been amalgamated to form a 
virtual 3D Earth, complete with real- 
istic elevations, 3D buildings for major 
cities, and fly-to animations. Google is 
offering free access to its beta version 
of Google Earth, based on technology 
from the recently acquired digital 
mapping company Keyhole. 

The Key To Google Earth 

Like many of Google's current offer- 
ings, Google Earth started out as 
a product from another company. 



Keyhole had been develop- 
ing a 3D Earth model and 
color satellite image database 
called EarthServer since 2001. 
Google acquired Keyhole's 
technology in October 2004 
with an eye toward broad- 
ening its own suite of 
mapping products. 

You can download 
Google Earth from kh 
.google.com/down 
load/earth/index.html, 
but you'll need to be 
connected to the In- 
ternet to properly run 
the program once it 
has been installed. Goo- 
gle Earth consists of a 
user interface application 
that lets you search for and 
view virtually any place on 
Earth using a database of Keyhole's 
images, as well as public domain and 
chartered flight photographs. Google 
Earth uses 3D graphics and broadband 
streaming technology to power its ad- 
vanced navigation features. Google 
Earth also lets you view 3D buildings in 
dozens of major cities, as well as 3D 
mountains, valleys, and other 
geographic features. 

Google Earth is also in- 
tegrated with the Google 
Local search feature that lets 
you find hotels, restaurants, 
schools, parks, and other lo- 
cations. It's designed to work 



Google Earth lets you label 

and add your own 

location-marking pushpins. 



with Google Maps, as well, so you can 
get driving directions to and from 
places all over the world. 

I can see my house from here. The 
realism and detail of these images is 
impressive. But before you try zooming 
in on Jennifer Aniston's poolside deck 
chairs, keep in mind that these digital 
images are static, and in some instances 
several years old. The satellite and 
aerial images that comprise Google 
Earth's database were taken through- 
out the last three years. 

Google Earth's images come from a 
variety of sources, most of which are 
public domain and available for use by 
anyone. When you zoom in on a spe- 
cific image that is copyrighted, the 
copyright information appears at the 
bottom to let you know where the 
image came from. Aside from the dif- 
fering image sources, the dates and 
times when the images were taken can 
also vary. An image of Yellowstone 
National Forest taken during the spring 
will look drastically different from an 
image of the forest taken in the fall. For 
this reason you may see sections that 
vary in color. In many cases, the images 
you see on Google Earth are combined 
like a patchwork quilt. 

As you might expect, Google Earth 
has more images of the United States 
than any other country. However, 
Google Earth provides medium resolu- 
tion images and 3D topographic data 
for the entire planet. You can view de- 
tailed road maps for the United States, 
Western Europe, Canada, and the 
United Kingdom. Google Earth also 
hosts high-resolution images of major 
cities throughout the world, which lets 




,V U n. 

.raw 






104 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 




You can view buildings for dozens of cities by enabling the 3D Buildings layer. 



you zoom in to street level and distin- 
guish people and cars. In addition, the 
urban areas of 38 major U.S. cities fea- 
ture 3D buildings. If you live in any of 
the above (except Western Europe) 
you'll also enjoy the integrated Google 
Local search feature. 

At press time, Google offered a com- 
prehensive visual map of the cities and 
regions covered at earth.google.com 
/data.html. Google Earth also covers 
more than 150 cities in the United 
States with resolutions better than 3 
feet. We looked up Cambridge, Mass., 
for which Google claims to have 6-inch 
resolution images, but we couldn't 
zoom closer than 40 feet (eye altitude). 
Despite this we managed to fill our 
1,024 x 768 resolution display with 
three cars parked side-by-side. 

If you live in a rural or sparsely pop- 
ulated area, you may only be able to 
view blurry images from which you 
can distinguish little more than groups 
of buildings, trees, and roads. With 
these medium- resolution images, indi- 
vidual buildings, cars, and people are 
difficult to see. Google has announced 
that it is adding updated images and 
terrain details on a rolling basis. So if 
you don't see high-resolution images 



for a specific area, it's likely that up- 
dates are on the way. If you're curious 
about a specific area, download the ap- 
plication and check it out for yourself. 

Download & Installation 

Google Earth has been tested to 
work with Windows 2000, a 500MHz 
Intel Pentium III CPU, 128MB of 
system memory, 200MB of free hard 
drive space, and a 3D-capable video 
card with 16MB of dedicated video 
RAM. For the best results, Google rec- 
ommends Windows XP and a 2.4GHz 
Pentium 4 CPU or AMD Athlon XP 
2400+, 512MB of RAM, 2GB of hard 
drive space, and a video card with 
32MB of dedicated RAM. Monitor res- 
olutions should be set to 32-bit true 
color with a 1,280 x 1,024 or higher 
resolution. You'll also need a broad- 
band connection capable of 128Kbps 
(kilobits per second) bandwidth. 

To install the free version of Google 
Earth, start by visiting earth. google 
.com. Click the Get Google Earth (Free 
Version) link in the upper- right corner 
of this page, and then click the Down- 
load GoogleEarth.exe button from the 
next page. Click Save, choose a location 




From this image you can see the border 
between a medium-resolution image 
and a high-resolution one. 




Among other things, the Measure tool 
can help you improve your golf game. 




Google Earth's 3D topographic data 
lets you view realistic landscapes. 

where you'd like to save the EXE file, 
and then click Save and wait for the 
10.4MB file to download. When the 
download is complete, click Open if 
prompted, or navigate to the file's lo- 
cation and double-click it to launch 
Google Earth's installation Wizard. 

Take Over The World 

Once you've installed Google Earth 
and launched the application, you'll 
immediately see the Google Earth UI 
(user interface). The main viewing 
pane of the interface shows a realistic 
3D Earth model floating against a 
subtle blanket of stars. You can use 
your mouse pointer to grab the 3D 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 105 



Google Tools 




Google is constantly adding new 
images to its Google Earth database. 

planet and rotate it in any direction. If 
your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can 
use it to rapidly zoom in and out of the 
image in the center of your viewing 
pane. Double-clicking any region 
zooms-in by roughly a factor of four. 

Google Earth's realistic 3D terrain 
data adds a whole new element to the 
boring old mapping formula. With 
Google Earth, you can zoom- in on ge- 
ographic locations, tilt the view and 
explore the Grand Canyon, study the 
crater at Mount Saint Helens, or just 
marvel at the Earth's varied terrain. 
Google Earth's center console features 
several navigation controls to help you 
take control of the 3D Earth model. 

In the center you'll find a four-way 
directional control. If you click and 
hold near the red dot in the middle of 
the control, you can move the Earth 
model by dragging your mouse in any 
direction. You can rotate the map using 
either of the circular arrow buttons to 
the left and right of the center console. 
The slider at the far right lets you tilt the 
map from a perpendicular overhead 
view to a nearly parallel view so you can 
view a profile of a given location's 
topography or 3D Buildings (for select 
cities). The slider to the right lets you 
zoom in and out. To the lower right 
and left of the center console you'll find 
the correction buttons for returning the 
map to its native orientation. 

Menu items. Toward the top of the 
window, you'll find familiar menu 
items such as File, Edit, View, Tools, 
and Help. The File menu lets you Save, 



Open, Email, and Print the maps as 
they appear in the main viewing pane 
of the Google Earth interface. From the 
Edit menu you can access Cut, Copy, 
Paste, and Rename commands. The 
View menu lets you add and remove 
on-screen items, such as the Compass, 
Status Bar, Latitude/Longitude Grid, 
and Overview Map. You can also 
switch between full- screen and win- 
dowed views of your chosen area using 
the View menu. 

The menu bar also features an Add 
command for placing your own anno- 
tations, such as Placemarks, Image 
Overlays, and Paths. The Help menu 
item directs you to Google Earth's 
Help Center, Bulletin Boards, and the 
upgrade page. (Only Google Earth Plus 
and Pro subscribers have access to all of 
the features in the menu bar, but we'll 
get to that in a moment.) 

Tools. The Tools menu contains a 
list of helpful items you can quickly add 
to Google Earth's default layout, such as 
a Web browsing pane and the Measure 
utility. The GPS Device tool is unavail- 
able in the free version of Google Earth, 
but Google Earth Plus and Pro sub- 
scribers can use it to import geographic 
information from certain GPS devices. 

The Measure tool is a handy feature 
that lets you measure the distance be- 
tween two points, or along a path that 
you can draw directly onto the image. A 
drop-down menu lets you choose units, 
such as Miles, Kilometers, Inches, Feet, 



Nautical Miles, and Smoots (named 
after the Oliver R. Smoot, who was top- 
pled head over heels in 1958 to measure 
the Harvard Bridge at MIT). According 
to Google Earth, I drive 34,940 Smoots 
to and from work (give or take an ear). 

Layers. As mentioned above, Google 
Earth has several features common to 
traditional mapping applications that 
you can add as layers. Click the appro- 
priate checkboxes in the Layers pane to 
display things such as 3D buildings, 
roads, parks, schools, hospitals, air- 
ports, and shopping sites, to name a 
few. You can also display statistics, 
such as crime rates, population, and 
median income data, for a given area. 

Get What You Pay For 

Google Earth's free offering is avail- 
able to anyone for personal and home 
use, but individuals and businesses can 
also upgrade to Google Earth Plus and 
Pro. Larger corporations might con- 
sider one of Google Earth's Enterprise 
Solutions, such as Google Earth Fusion, 
Google Earth Server, or Google Earth 
EC (Enterprise Client). 

Google Earth Plus. Google's step-up 
from the free version adds Magellan 
and Garmin GPS device support, 
drawing tools, the ability to import 
spreadsheets, tracks, and waypoints, 
and lets you print images at better reso- 
lutions. Google Earth Plus users get 
email customer support that's not 




©ee 



MSN Virtual Earth's image of the Statue of Liberty is on the left, while Google 
Earth's image is on the right. 



106 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



available to free version users. You can 
also use the included drawing and 
sketch tools for annotating your maps. 
To upgrade, launch Google Earth, click 
Help and Upgrade To Plus, and follow 
the instructions. A yearly subscription 
to Google Earth Plus costs $20. 

Google Earth Pro. For commercial 
users, Google Earth Pro is the route to 



go. This version features several tools 
and options not available in the 
others, such as high- resolution prints, 
phone support, and the ability to mea- 
sure area and import up to 2,500 data 
points. Pro also features several pre- 
mium modules that you can purchase 
for $200 each. You can select from the 
Movie Making Module, Premium 



Printing Module, GIS Data Importing 
Module, and more. The base license 
for Google Earth Pro costs $400 a 
year, but at press time Google was 
offering a free 7-day trial at earth 
.google.com/earth_pro.html. __ 

by Andrew Leibman 



Google Earth vs. MSN Virtual Earth 



Although Microsoft got a jump on 
the geo-spatial Web site market 
back in 1998 with its TerraServer data- 
base, Google Earth has certainly raised 
the stakes. On July 25th Microsoft re- 
leased an answer to Google Earth in 
the form of MSN Virtual Earth 
(virtualearth.msn.com), which shares 
TerraServer's image database, but adds 
many features found in Google Earth. 
Although both offerings are still in 
beta form, we decided to explore the 
advantages and disadvantages of the 
two application's interfaces, image re- 
sults, and overall approach to this rev- 
olutionary new mapping technology. 

World View 

Google and Microsoft have taken 
mildly diverging approaches to map- 
ping with aerial and satellite photog- 
raphy. Both MSN Virtual Earth and 
Google Earth are offering access for 
free and require connections to the 
Internet in order to tap into their re- 
spective databases. MSN's service dif- 
fers in that it doesn't require a separate 
application that you must install and 
launch from your computer. Simply 
visit virtualearth.msn.com to load the 
interface directly into your browser. 

Like Google Earth, MSN Virtual 
Earth's aerial photography coverage is 
limited, but to a different extent. As 
we mention in this article, Google 
Earth features medium-resolution 
color images and terrain data for the 
whole planet. MSN's service, on the 
other hand, currently only boasts 



high-to-medium resolution imagery 
for the United States. 

The USGS (United States 
Geological Society) supplies MSN 
Virtual Earth's aerial images, while the 
application uses Microsoft's MapPoint 
technology for displaying road maps 
and plotting trips. If the location 
you're looking for has USGS Urban 
Area data available, then it will appear 
in color. This is the case for MSN 
Virtual Earth's Featured Locations, or 
specific areas of interest and dozens of 
highly populated areas. For all other 
locations, MSN Virtual Earth relies on 
Digital Ortho-Quadrangle data, which 
is a monochrome medium- to high- 
resolution image. 

MSN Virtual Earth lets you switch 
between aerial and road map views by 
clicking the appropriate links in the 
upper-left corner of the window. If 
you want to see the road maps lay- 
ered onto the aerial images, click 
Aerial Photo, click the adjacent Down 
arrow, and then click Labels. 

Apples & Oranges 

Both Google Earth and MSN 
Virtual Earth have featured locations 
and ready-plotted pushpins to de- 
note places of interest. These loca- 
tions show off what the application is 
capable of, but they may not be rep- 
resentative of the application's ability 
to deliver relevant results and images. 
We tested the two mapping applica- 
tions by searching for the Statue of 
Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. 



MSN Virtual Earth. We started by 
typing statue of liberty into the 
Where box of MSN Virtual Earth's in- 
terface and clicking the Local Search 
button. Although the button's de- 
scription was a bit misleading, MSN 
Virtual Earth loaded a monochrome 
image of Liberty Island in less than 
five seconds. When we typed "eiffel 
tower," we were greeted with a mes- 
sage saying that no results were 
found. A subsequent search for Paris 
turned up a monochrome image of 
Paris, Illinois. The Statue of Liberty 
image required a bit of zooming-in to 
get a good view, but overall MSN 
Virtual Earth is fast, but seemingly 
more accurate when searching for lo- 
cations within the United States. 

Google Earth. Google's application, 
however, needed a bit more coaxing to 
show us the correct location. We 
typed "statue of liberty" into the text 
box and clicked Search, but we got dif- 
ferent results depending on the center 
position of our view, none of which 
were near New York Harbor. When the 
view was centered over a random loca- 
tion, Google Earth told us that there 
were no results for our search. We did 
manage to view the monument by 
typing "new york, ny" and then using 
the pointer to drag Liberty Island into 
view. As we zoomed in, the data took 
just less than 30 seconds to load, but 
the high-resolution result was sharp 
and impressive. The Eiffel Tower was 
difficult to find, as well, and we ended 
up typing "paris," and dragging the 
map around until it came into view. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 107 



Google Tools 



IPs Not Picasso, 
But It's Close 

Meet Picasa, Google's Photo Organizer/Editor 




If you're looking for photo- 
editing software, you live in a 
time of plenty. After comparing 
a list of what you want your ed- 
itor to do with what's available and 
how much you feel like spending, 
you should have no trouble deciding 
on the right software for your needs. 
Adobe Photoshop CS2 ($599; 
www.adobe.com) is the industry 



standard, the top choice of graphics 
professionals and anyone else who 
must have every conceivable feature. 
Its little sibling, Photoshop Ele- 
ments 3 ($99.99) has one of the best 
cost-to-value ratios around, pro- 
viding about 80% of Photoshop's 
functionality for around 16% of the 
price. It's all most home users will 
ever need. 



Corel's Paint Shop Pro ($129; 
www.corel.com) also has legions of 
satisfied users. Originally published 
by a company called Jasc, it's been 
called "the poor man's Photoshop," 
with a similarly wide feature set and 
a user interface close enough to in- 
spire deja vu. 

Moving down the scale, the Mic- 
rosoft Digital Image Suite ($99.95, 



108 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



rjpiJEius 



General E-Mail File Types Slideshow 

es and 
0- TIF, JIFF 
0-EMP 

PSD (Photoshop®) 
H-PNG 

0RAWformats(.CRW,.NEF,...) 
fL Movies (.AVI, .MPQ, .ASF, .WMV) 



www.microsoft.com) 
covers a lot of basic 
and intermediate ter- 
ritory in a guided 
walk-through inter- 
face, although we 
sometimes wonder at 
occasional, seeming 
lapses in design judg- 
ment. Roxio Photo- 
Suite (www.roxio 
.com) has similarly 
moderate ambitions, 
and while it's avail- 
able by itself ($49.95, 
but often heavily dis- 
counted), it's a hard- 
to-beat bargain as 

part of the jam- 

packed Easy Media 
Creator suite ($99.95). 

Notice we didn't say an unbeat- 
able bargain. That's a hard claim to 
make for any photo software since 
Picasa, Google's editor, entered the 
picture. Picasa covers a lot of basics, 
does it well, and does it for free. 

Mi Picasa, Su Picasa 

Picasa is aimed at casual users 
who want a straightforward, all-in- 
one solution for organizing photos, 
performing quick fixes and minor 
edits, and sharing pictures with 
family and friends. 

Although the program now comes 
from Google, it's not entirely home- 
grown. Picasa (both as a software 
company and its eponymous digital 
photo organizer) was the brainchild 
of photography enthusiast Lars 
Perkins. At the time, Perkins was an 
executive at Idealab, a Pasadena, 
Calif., business incubator (support 
system for entrepreneurs) that also 
helped launch such companies as 
NetZero and eToys.com. 

In early 2004, Perkins met with 
Google to interest them in a utility 
his developers had designed for 
transferring photos from Picasa's 
Hello, an instant messaging pro- 
gram, to Google's Web log service 



] | Cancel | | Apply | [ 



Use the Options dialog box 
to include or exclude various 
document formats 
from scanning. 



called Blogger. Goo- 
gle ended up liking 
Picasa's organizer so 
much that it bought 
the company in July 
2004 and retained 
Perkins to run it. 

Still in version 1, 
and selling at a price 
of $29.99, Picasa had 
about 500,000 paying 
users at the time, but 
Google immediately 
made it available as a 
free download. Ver- 
sion 2, released in 
January 2005, added 
more editing capa- 

bilities, improved 

search functions, a 
collage maker, CD burning, and im- 
proved integration with Hello and 
Blogger. As we go to press, the only 
further update has been a bug fix 
Google released this summer. 

Installation 

Picasa runs on Windows 98 and 
beyond, with humble system re- 
quirements, so you'll likely have no 
compatibility problems. Down- 
loading and installation is as 
straightforward as it gets: 

1. Visit www.picasa.com and click 
the Free Download button. 

2. This opens a File Download 
Warning dialog box. 

Click the Run button. 
The installer is com- 
paratively tiny (just 
3.16MB) so the down- 
load shouldn't take 



more than a few minutes even on a 
dial-up connection. 

3. After the download is complete, 
you may have to click another Run 
button to agree to another security 
warning, and comply with the End 
User License Agreement. 

4. As the installation wraps up, 
you'll have a few final options: cre- 
ating shortcuts on the Desktop and 
in the Taskbar's Quick Launch sec- 
tion, etc. Click the checkboxes to de- 
select options you don't want, then 
click Finish. 

5. Once installation is complete, 
your browser will open and, if you're 
connected to the Internet, take you 
to a Support page, where you can 
view a brief User Guide and search 
the Knowledge Base. 

Organizational Skills 

Picasa was originally designed to 
locate photos wherever they are and 
provide immediate access to them 
from a central interface. Version 2's 
editing functions may overshadow 
this a bit, but Picasa remains a ca- 
pable organizer. 

The scan. The first time you 
launch Picasa, it announces that it's 
going to scan your computer to look 
for photos. You can choose either to 
let it scan your entire system, in- 
cluding all attached drives, or to 




The first time you 

launch Picasa, you'll see 

this scan alert. You'll 

never see it again, but 

Picasa continues to scan 

your system upon 

each launch. 



Picasa is ready to scan for pictures on your computer 



Completely scan my computer for pictures 

Choose this option if you have pictures stored in various folders a< 
comp liter, especially if you have pictures stored on more than one 



Only scan My Documents, My Pictures, and the Desktop 

Choose this option if you only store your pictures in the above folders. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 109 



Google Tools 



: . 



^Labels 1 1) 



' 



c 






* 







2005 

. Me.:2: 
2003 

Kris Ml 



Folders en Disk (9) 



2005 

'... Iv'y' 101 

£7 Nederland (4) 
2004 

■ i Stone {2) 

£? Red Rocks (3) 

£?Kids(3) 
2003 

£? My Pictures (3) 
2002 

i... Landscapes (4} 
2000 
£i SeanS Family (17) 
[^Exported Pictures <1| 



ScteCt ."ill Sttmd N 



2005 

£? My Pictures (2) 




E«r 


.'•^\ 

*:,.',*' 






r ?■ 1 



-—jjEmmm 



Held 




O cl^r 




Label 



6 d 



D iH 



# 



Library View: The Folder List is on the left, the Lightbox fills the right, and the 
Picture Tray and Output Options span the bottom. The green section is the 
expanded Search tool. 



scan only your My Documents and 
My Pictures folders, plus your 
Desktop. Picasa doesn't move or 
copy anything to a new location. 

Unless you reinstall, you'll never 
see this alert again, but Picasa still 
scans your system each time you 
open the program. Fortunately, 
you're not stuck with the broadly 
defined scan parameters you see the 
first time. You can configure them 
with much greater precision. 

To specify where you want Picasa 
to look, select Folder Manager from 
the Tools menu. This presents you 
with Windows' normal folder hier- 
archy, letting you designate how 
Picasa treats each folder: Select it 
and click the appropriate radio 
button so Picasa scans the folder 
once, ignores it, or monitors it for 
any changes. 

You may also want to redefine the 
files that Picasa scans for. By default, 
it looks for most graphics file types 
and movies, as well, but omits GIF 
(Graphics Interchange Format) and 
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) 



files. To change these defaults, 
choose Options from the Tools 
menu and click the File Types tab. 

In addition to the system scan, 
you can also import new pictures di- 
rectly into Picasa. The program 
should automatically detect when- 
ever you attach a device such as a 
camera or memory card to your 
computer, or insert a photo CD. If 
this fails, or if you want to use a 
scanner, click the Import button in 
the upper-left corner, use the drop- 
down menu to select the appropriate 
device, and proceed. Unless you 
change the location in the Op- 
tions dialog box, Picasa saves 
imported images in the My 
Pictures folder. 

Library. When the launch 
scan is complete, Picasa opens 
into Library View, which has 
three main sections. 



Along the left side is the Folder 
List. Picasa arranges this list ac- 
cording to the creation date of the 
folders containing your photos. You 
can change this by clicking the View 
menu, selecting Sort Folder List By, 
and then choosing two other op- 
tions: Recent Changes or the desired 
folders' Names. 

To the right of the list is a large 
section called the Lightbox. It dis- 
plays a thumbnail of every image 
Picasa has found, with the contents 
of each folder shown together. You 
can scroll through them using the 
on-screen arrows or your keyboard's 
Up/Down arrow keys. To reduce 
clutter, click the green triangle be- 
side a folder's name in the Folder 
List; it will turn red and remove the 
contents from the Lightbox. Each 
folder is designated by a separator 
bar that turns blue when selected; at 
the right end of each bar is an 
Actions drop-down menu full of 
folder-management tools. 

Click a thumbnail and, just below 
the Lightbox, you'll see a line dis- 
playing the photo's name and such 
properties as size and last modifica- 
tion date. 

Using the Lightbox, you can orga- 
nize pictures by dragging and drop- 
ping their thumbnails to new lo- 
cations in the Folder List. These 
changes aren't merely visual; you'll 
actually be moving these files on 
your hard drive. 

You can also group pictures into 
virtual folders by tagging them with 



Mto'UW 



The Folder Manager lets you 

specify scanning options for 

individual folders. 



^>[jU Desktop 
3 &|£^ My Pictures 
3 &Q My Documents 

Xlr^i Docs ■ Corresponden 

".:•..• ."■'.' 

x&B — 

- ^> MyPicta, 

^>i_^| Desktops 
5£>L_ Grf 
^>£3 Ivy 
&l£3 Kids 
^>L_. La " : ' scapes 
S£> . Nederland 
+ ^> Pi 

&i Red iocks 

S£>E3 Sean & Family 
3 ^>l£l My PS P8 Files 
3 X^*. CA 



. . ... 

r,-w ' J K;-i;.:i 'irui ;'<rlf>iv r.w.k it '''"ft..: :;;■■<- ,v;<; ire;- 
;:■!.;■?:-. tn ,....ntr : -: }::< new ;::::. •?:■■ 



ForMyDocu.ADocs-Nonfictii 
C V Scan Once 
<• X Remove from Picasa 
C ^> Watch for Changes 

Watched Folders 



Desktop 
l£) My Documents 
[jD My Pictures 



110 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Google Tools 




To fix red-eye, click and drag over the red area. 



mJMM 




The Straighten tool overlays your picture with a grid, 
making it easy to use any feature (like the back of a 
couch) as your reference point. 



Labels. Let's say you have several 
landscape photos scattered among 
various folders. By giving each photo 
a Landscape label, they'll not only 
appear inside their original folders, 
but they'll also appear grouped to- 
gether, with Landscape added to the 
Folder List. 

There are different methods you 
can use to create a label, but the 
quickest one is to right-click the 
photo's thumbnail and choose Add 
Label, then New Label, from the 
context menu. This opens a dialog 
box where you can type the label, 
plus other criteria. (After you've cre- 
ated a label, it appears in the Add 
Label context menu, so you don't 
have to type it each time.) A photo 
can have more than one label, too, 
so you can display it simultaneously 
in multiple categories. For instance, 
some of your landscapes may also be 
vacation shots. To remove a label, 
right-click the thumbnail and then 
select Remove From Label in the 
context menu. 

Getting back to Picasa's interface, 
at the bottom is the Picture Tray, 
along with a row of Output Option 
buttons and a few other tools. The 
Output Options determine the fate 
of your photos after you've edited 



and sorted them: You can print 
them, email them, etc. We'll get back 
to these later. 

Whenever you select a thumbnail 
in the Lightbox, it also appears in 
the Picture Tray. Normally, you'll 
see one at a time there, as clicking a 
new picture replaces the previous 
one in the tray, but sometimes you 
may want to output several pictures 
at once. No problem, just click the 
Hold button after each photo you've 
added to the tray before choosing 
the next, and you can pile up as 
many as you want. Use the Clear 
button to empty the tray one photo 
at a time (select the thumbnail in the 
tray first), or all at once (click Clear 
without selecting any). 

Next to the Hold but- 
ton is a short row of 
tools: two buttons to 
rotate pictures, and a 
Star button, which lets 
you mark your favorites 
for future reference. 

Track it down. Above 
the right end of the 
Lightbox is Picasa's 
Search tool. As soon as 
you type in a term such 
as a photo's name, the 
Lightbox displays only 





Basic Fixes T^ 


Tuning T^L Effects 






i*5i 


Cup 


m 

m 




Straighten 




I'm Feeling Lucky 


Auto Contrast 




Auto Color 


Fill Light 






Undo Red Eye 


Redo I'm Feeling Lucky 



Picasa's editing tools 
are grouped in this 
tabbed pane. 



those photos that meet the criteria. 
The Search box expands automati- 
cally, something you can also accom- 
plish with the Show/Hide button. 
The expanded space provides buttons 
to search for starred photos or 
movies, and lets you narrow search 
results by date. Any of the fields in 
the Label Properties dialog box 
(Caption, Date, Place Taken) will also 
work as search criteria. 

Editing 

Picasa poses little threat to Photo- 
shop and other full- featured editors 
(you can't clear up skin blemishes or 
swap heads, for instance), but it of- 
fers several basic tools 
that should be enough 
for anyone with modest 
editing needs. 

To access these fea- 
tures, double-click a 
thumbnail in the Light- 
box. This takes you out 
of Library View and 
opens a larger copy of 
the photo inside Edit 
View. Here, Picasa con- 
solidates your tools in a 
three-tabbed pane that 
provides quick access 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 111 



Google Tools 




The Tuning Tab provides five controls for adjusting lighting and the picture's 
overall warmth. 



File Edit View Tools Help 


^ Bach To Library as Slideihow Q 




BHIIH - 




T Basic Fixei T^E Tuning T^fi Efl&cts 








Simper 




B&W 


Warm By 


HH^^E^M 


Tint 


LJ 


SOft F0CU4 Clew 


Wm\ 


tiAk. 


Filtered BS.W 


Fot.a 1 B&VV Graduated Ti nt 










\ "msm^» 








!Rf 


£*t "i tit iJtiBMWBfiiP Sft-'^^^R^*^ 



Picasa's Effects section previews its 12 filters in thumbnails. 



to most of the tweaks you'll want 
to make. 

Basic Fixes. Some of these are 
simple, one-click adjustments; 
others are more interactive. Crop 
provides three standard print sizes 
and a free-size manual option. 
Straighten overlays the photo with a 
grid, making it easy to use any line 
in the picture as a reference point 
while dragging a slider to tilt the 
image into alignment. 



There's also a fix available for 
red-eye, the demonic look that re- 
sults when a flash reflects from 
someone's retinas. Just click and 
drag over the pupil, release the 
mouse button, and Picasa will turn 
the red to neutral gray. 

Unfortunately, Picasa suffers from 
a gaffe in logic here. While in Edit 
View, you'll notice a Zoom slider 
below the photo. Because red eyes 
might be small in the photo, it's 



logical that you might want to work 
on them at a higher zoom level ... 
but you can't. As soon as you click 
the Redeye tool, the photo shrinks to 
fit the viewing area. 

Rounding out the Basic Fixes are 
one-click adjustments for Contrast 
and Color, and I'm Feeling Lucky 
(sound familiar, Googlers?), which 
simultaneously tweaks color and 
lighting. The Fill Light slider con- 
trols brightness. 

Tuning. These provide finer con- 
trol over lighting and color. By ad- 
justing the Highlights and Shadows 
sliders singly or together, you can 
tweak a photo's contrast with greater 
finesse. The Fill Light slider appears 
here, too. 

Regrettably, there's another sig- 
nificant oversight here: the lack of a 
button to toggle the effect off and on 
to judge your progress. Yes, you can 
use the Undo and Redo buttons, but 
Redo doesn't return the sliders to 
their original position so you can 
fine-tune your work from the point 
you left off. 

Color Temperature determines an 
image's overall tone. Drag the slider 
left for cooler blue tones, to the right 
for warmer yellows and oranges. 

The Neutral Color Picker turns 
your cursor into a dropper tool. 
Click an item or area that you want 
to use as a reference for white or 
gray, and Picasa will balance colors 
relative to your choice. 

Effects. This brings up 12 filters. 
Some, such as Sharpen and Film 
Grain, are more textural in nature. 
Others, such as Warmify and Tint, 
echo some of the previous controls, 
and then there are the obligatory 
B&W and Sepia options. You'll see 
thumbnail previews in the Effects 
pane, which, although small, might 
help you judge what's worth trying 
and what you can do without. 

The first five effects are simple 
one-click changes, but the rest are 
interactive: Tint lets you select the 
shade, and choose how much color 
from the original remains. With Soft 



112 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Focus, Glow, and Focal B&W, you 
can set the effect's coverage area and 
its degree of strength. Graduated 
Tint is an adjustable top-down color 
wash that will let you, for instance, 
make the sky bluer, although the 
gradation travels in one direction 
only, so you can't make the grass 
greener. Only Filtered B&W is tricky 
to work with, because color filters 
affect black-and-white film in less 
predictable ways. 

Hiding in plain sight. Edit View 
also has a few tricks that aren't as 
obvious, such as the caption line be- 
neath the photo; simply click and 
start typing. 

Above the photo is a thin strip 
that lets you select other photos 
from the same folder without re- 
turning to Library View. You can 
also speed up your work by using the 
Hold button to load multiple pic- 
tures into the Tray, then choosing 
Batch Edit from the Picture menu to 
fix them all with one command. 

Final Destinations 

As we mentioned earlier, the Out- 
put Options take everything in 
the Picture Tray and send it wher- 
ever you want it to go, and most 
of the options are 
self-explanatory. 

If you want hard- 
copies, the Print com- 
mand not only gets 
the job done, but also 
helps you manage 
photo paper without 
waste. By using the 
Print Layout options 
and setting the Copies 
Per Picture, you can 
print multiple copies 
of the same shot, or 
use one sheet of paper 
for different pictures. 
Fortunately, Picasa 
displays a preview be- 
fore you print, so you 
can avoid common 
setup mistakes. 



i 



Label Picture Create Tools Help 

Print Layout 



a 11 



^ ., 



Primer &elup 

360.0 dpi, ll.0x«.5 (Online) 



Copies per picture 




Print © Cancel 



The Print interface lets you print multiple copies or different photos, so you can 
use your photo paper efficiently. 



liiiii 



Mia 



o 

Gm it 

f*l Picasa 

*^F MAI 



Outlook Express 

Use my default email program. 



MAIL Get a Hello usemame! 



*f Remember this setting, don't display this dialog again, 



The E-mail command creates 
file attachments in some, but 
not all, email programs. For 
example, Picasa 2 dropped the 
support for Yahoo! Mail that 
was built into version 1. 



For sharing electronically, the 
Email button will send pictures to a 
supported mail program as attach- 
ments. You can also send photos via 
Hello, Picasa's instant messaging 
program (for free software and sign- 
up, go to www.hello.com), or post 
them directly to 
your Web log at 
Google's Blogger 
service, which you 
can find at www 
.blogger.com. 

The Order but- 
ton will send your 
pictures in for 
professional prints 
from one of Pi- 
casa's affiliated 
providers. 

Finally, there's 
the Export but- 
ton. Picasa is, to 
a certain extent, 
a closed environ- 
ment. It doesn't let 
you save editing 
and effects changes 



iy Cmail account. 



directly to the photo files; your pic- 
tures only look that way in Picasa. Try 
it; add a sepia tone to something, then 
check the preview in the original 
folder. It's still the same. 

To save changes to the photos 
themselves, you'll have to export 
copies to your hard drive, which 
brings us to another unfortunate 
limitation. Picasa can only export 
photos using the JPEG (Joint Photo- 
graphic Experts Group files) format, 
which means that you lose the ad- 
vantages of saving your uncom- 
pressed image data in the form of 
TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) 
and RAW files. 

Picasa certainly isn't a do-all pro- 
gram, but users who don't need 
more complex features will probably 
find that it delivers just about every- 
thing they need ... at a price that's 
impossible to argue with. Qjs] 

by Brian Hodge 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 113 



Google Tools 



Speaking 
In Tongues 

Reach Globally With Google's Language Tools 



Google has made its 
search interface available 
in a dizzying number of 
languages and gone a 
step further by offering free trans- 
lation services between several 
major tongues of the world. This 
sounds slick, but how compelling 
is it in practice? Grab your towel 
and a Rick Steves travel guide, and 
let's find out. 

Search Specific Languages 
Or Countries 

This overlong but Googlishly 
spartan Language Tools Page is essen- 
tially comprised of three sections. The 
first is titled Search Specific Languages 
Or Countries. Let's say you're re- 
searching Antoni Gaudi's famous 
basilica in Barcelona, La Sagrada Fam- 
ilia, and because you know Spanish, 
you only want to see pages about the 
church written in Spanish and based in 
Spain. No problem. In the first pull- 
down menu, there are 35 languages to 
choose from. Select Spanish. 

On the next line, another pull- down 
menu offers to filter results according 
to pages based in 71 countries. This is 
determined according to the host site's 
domain extension. For example, the 
country extension for Spain is .es. 
Naturally, you would select Spain from 
this list. 

The third line is your search bar. 
This is where you enter your query, in 
this case "Antoni Gaudi." Click the 
Google Search button or the ENTER 
key on your keyboard and watch the 
results roll in. 




As a research tool, these lan- 
guage/country filters can be useful 
for obtaining regional perspectives 
on a subject. For example, Gaudi 
was Catalonian, and you might 
come across different facts or inter- 
pretations of his life and works by 
combing through pages written in 
Catalan rather than Spanish or sites 
hosted in Spain as opposed to 
America. In cases where some might 
allege there is media bias involved, 
as in the present Iraq war, one could 
get a wholly different outlook on 
events and conditions by searching 
for Shi'ite on Arabic pages rather 
than English. 

Note, too, that search term spelling 
can be critical to results. In Spanish, 
Antoni Gaudi's name is actually 
spelled Antonio. For the best results, 
you need to be aware of such discrep- 
ancies and how local pages are likely 
to spell things differently. Also be 
aware that if you spend most of your 
time using one set of language search 
criteria, you can click the Preferences 
link in this section to make those op- 
tions your Google default. 



Translate 

The Translate section quite simply 
offers two functions: translate a block 
of text from one language to another 
or translate a Web page from one 
language to another. Those of us who 
grew up on Star Trek and Dune 
might waltz into these offerings with 
over bloated optimism about the lin- 
guistic powers of computing. Rather 
than spoil the fun, perhaps skip over 
to our sidebar on how Google trans- 
lations actually turn out when doing 
long text passages. Students, you've 
been warned. 

At best, the text translator is best 
for short, nonidiomatic phrases. For 
instance, the tool correctly translated 
the universally employed phrase "two 
more beers, please" into the Spanish 
"dos mas cervezas, por favor." 
However, make it just a bit more 
complex — "two more Corona beers, 
please" — and Google comes back 
with "dos mas cervezas de la corona, 
por favor," literally "two more beers 
of the crown, please." Ay carumba! 

Interestingly, we had somewhat 
better results with the Web page trans- 
lator. To use this you simply copy and 
paste the URL of a Web page into the 
Translate A Web Page field, use the 
pull-down menu to select the source 
and target languages, and click the 
Translate button. No, you're not going 
to get a decent translation. Not even 
close. But we've found several cases 
where we could decipher enough of the 
English to tell if the page had informa- 
tion in it that we needed. If so, then we 
went in search of an actual speaker of 
the source page's language and asked 
for a better translation. 

At present, Google attempts to 
translate among the six major Euro- 
pean languages: English, Spanish, 
French, German, Portuguese, and 
Italian. Translations between English 
and Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are 
currently in beta testing, but we were 
unable to view these because the char- 
acter sets were incompatible with our 
test systems. 



114 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Google In Your Language & Domain 

In the years of the Search Engine Wars, 
Google was famous for having great hit results 
but also an extremely bare home page, some- 
thing the company has preserved more or less 
to this day. Not counting the Google logo 
image or two buttons, www.google.com con- 
tains exactly 37 words as of this writing, 15 of 
which were for new feature and copyright no- 
tices. With so little to translate, it was easy for 
Google to customize this page into 116 dif- 
ferent "languages." 

Now, some of these languages are more for 
laughs than work. We doubt that many people 
will be doing research in the mellifluous nu- 
ances of Klingon, Pig Latin, or Elmer Fudd — 
still, we felt compelled to click the I'm Feewing 
Wucky button repeatedly — but interfaces from 
Afrikaans to Malay to Zulu may make some 
feel more at home. While resulting hits are all 
in their native tongues, the standard text on the 
hits page ("See 4,050 images for X," "Results 1 
- 10 of about 117,000 for Y," etc.) remain in 
the selected language. 

Below this is a different way to access the 
same regional search pages. You can select the 
local domain by browsing through the flag/do- 
main name/country name for each region. In 
some cases this requires an extra step or two. 
For example, there's obviously a difference be- 
tween searching in French and searching from 
the Canadian site. By default, the Canadian 
page (www.google.ca) is in English, and you 
need to click a link for the French version 
(www.google.ca/fr). By and large, though, 
there's a lot of overlap between the two lan- 
guage and local domain pages. You just need 
to decide whether your emphasis is linguistic 
or geographic. 

Gracias. Sayonara. 

As you can see, Google Language Tools are 
less than perfect, but they're better than 
nothing. Don't make the mistake of relying on 
translations to help you survive while abroad. 
Just use Google Language Tools as a more con- 
venient starting place for your international data 
mining, and maybe have a little fun in Klingon 
along the way. [rs] 

by William Van Winkle 



Translation: You Get What You Pay For 



Years ago, AltaVista was the first search company to offer free trans- 
lation services with BabelFish. Users were underwhelmed by the 
service then, and we wondered if Google had improved matters with 
its own translator. To test, we grabbed a paragraph from the About Us 
page at sister magazine Computer Power User and wrote a little limerick 
in a fit of silliness. We then found a native German speaker who was 
very fluent in English and asked him to translate Google's output. 
Here's what we found. Note that Google's tool removed the line breaks 
in our poem and, in cases such as "twang," where a translation was not 
known, kept the English word. 

Original English: 

Computer Power User is a monthly print publication aimed at people 
who know that technology rocks. The kind of person who gets his 
kicks upgrading graphics cards and smashing benchmarks. The type of 
person who reinstalls Windows at 2 a.m. on a Saturday because his 
system keeps crashing while he's ripping MP3s. Or the person who 
repartitions his drive to create a dual-boot system and install Linux so 
he can learn more about how the OS works. 

There once was a girl from Chiba 

With a talking cow whose name was Reba 

Together they sang 

Asian rap with a twang 

And karaoked while pounding Zima 

German-To-English Retranslation: 

Computer performance user is month long struggler/striver people 
the pressure of publication, who know that technology is shaky. The 
type of person who gets his kicks improving the graphic maps and 
smashing fixed points. The type of person who reinstalls Windows at 2 
a.m. on a Saturday because holds/stops to break up while he MP3s. Or 
the person rips/tears the division/sharing out his drive to cause a 
double-loading of the system and the putting up of Linux, so he can 
learn more about he way the OS works. 

There once was a girl from Chiba with an entertainment cow whose 
name was Reba, together, that sang karaoke Asian Polkas with a twang 
while pounding Zima. 

Note from German speaker: "Unfortunately, my students use these 
translators, and they are incapable of recognizing parts of speech. For ex- 
ample, 'gets his kicks/ 'die seine 
Stosse erhalt,' would be nonsense 
to most Germans, and I can only 
translate it because I know 
English. Your translator mixes up 
nouns and verbs, omits verbs, 
and fails to translate words like 
'pounding' from the original 
English." 



Gougle 



r, 1-m-S-n ilun U r.in..-i r mm rn-i iS 



1 SeMgiiCM 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 115 



Google Tools 



Power To The 
People 

Google Code: A Little Something 
For Open-Source Fans 



Earlier this 
year, Google 
released sev- 
eral portions 
of in-house code as 
open-source pro- 
jects, under con- 
tinued development. 
Coming from a com- 
pany that owns the 
world's biggest, most 
scalable platform for 
Web-based applications de 
velopment, that's significant — 
not only for what it presently provides, 
but more so as evidence of ongoing 
commitment to open-source on the 
Internet. In this feature, we're going to 
take a look at Google's moves in this 
direction, its current projects, and the 
work and opinions of a couple of de- 
velopers who are glad Google isn't just 
talking the talk, but also walking the 
open-source walk. 

Google's Perspective 

"We like to take part in the open- 
source community, and we want people 
to have the code we're proud of at 
Google," says Chris DiBona, the com- 
pany's open- source program manager. 
"We try to make it as easy as possible 
for developers to access that code. Most 
of it we've released to date can run on 
any operating system, though the 
mMaim library requires Python. And it 
says in each new project how much 




experience a program- 
mer needs to have the 
problem set to take ad- 
vantage of it." 

Though DiBona is 
pleased with the re- 
sults, he takes pains to 
point out that Goo- 
gle's open-source pro- 
jects aren't necessarily 
better than the best of- 
fered elsewhere. That isn't 
their primary purpose. "While 
I think we offer solid code, I'd 
imagine that most developers would 
consider this stuff an interesting look at 
how we've attacked the problem of 
having programs perform well in 
heavily loaded multithreaded SMP 
[symmetric multiprocessing] machines. 
Many libraries and software develop- 
ment techniques break down under se- 
rious load, and the tools we've released 
help to debug these kinds of problems 
with a certain amount of agility that I 
think developers will find useful. 

"This is not to say that alternatives 
do not exist," DiBona says, "but I think 
our offerings represent an important 
addition to the discourse around cre- 
ating such programs." 

The Open-Source Google Projects 

There are currently nine open- 
source projects available, and each 
has its own associated downloads 
and forums. 



AdWords API Client Libraries. Per 

Google's Web site, "These libraries 
make it easier to write clients to pro- 
grammatically access AdWords ac- 
counts." There are two libraries at the 
moment. Again, from Google: "The 
Java client library for the AdWords API 
makes it easier to write Java clients to 
programmatically access AdWords ac- 
counts. The PHP library allows you to 
do the same in that language." This 
project can be found at sourceforge 
.net/projects/goog-ad-api-cli. 

AjaXSLT. XSLT stands for Exten- 
sible Stylesheet Language Transforma- 
tions. It's a tree-oriented programming 
language used to transform XML 
(Extensible Markup Language) docu- 
ments. AjaXSLT is XSLT implementa- 
tion in JavaScript for use in fat Web 
pages, which are now referred to as 
AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript + 
XML) applications. The 0.2 beta release 
appeared at the end of June; you can 
find out more about this project at 
sourceforge.net/projects/goog-ajaxslt. 

Coredumper. This is described at 
the Google Code site as "a neat tool for 
creating GDB readable core dumps 
from multithreaded applications. The 
coredumper library can be compiled 
into applications to create core dumps 
of the running program, without ter- 
mination. It supports both single- and 
multithreaded core dumps, even if the 
kernel doesn't natively support multi- 
threaded core files." Project informa- 
tion may be found at sourceforge.net 
/projects/goog-coredumper. 

Google mMaim. Written in Python, 
mMaim is for analyzing and moni- 
toring MySQL (open-source database) 
servers — not as a front-end, but by of- 
fering the tools to design an appro- 
priate interface between that server and 
the programmer. mMaim can create 
command-line tools, provide Master/ 
Slave sync statistics, and more. You can 
find out more about it at source 
forge.net/projects/goog-mmaim. 

Goopy/Functional. Simply func- 
tions in a Python library. The project 
page is at sourceforge.net/projects 
/goog-goopy. 



116 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Kongulo. It's Icelandic for "spider." 
Kongulo is a Web spider plug- in that 
makes Web sites you specify searchable 
by GDS (Google Desktop Search). It 
follows HTML (Hypertext Markup 
Language) links and image, frame, and 
anchor tags. At the current time, it does 
not possess a graphical user interface, 
but can be run from the command line 
continuously to check previously 
crawled pages for updates. It uses a 
very simple form of programmed arti- 
ficial intelligence (with loops, depth, 
passwords, etc.) to start at a specified 
URL (uniform resource locator) and 
proceeds to index all resources it finds 
there within GDS. The code is offered 
by Google to provide an example of 
how you can code a GDS plug-in using 
Python. The project page is source 
forge.net/projects/goog-kongulo. 

Perftools. Google stated upon this 
project's initial release that, "These 
tools are for use by developers so that 
they can create more robust applica- 
tions. Especially of use to those devel- 
oping multithreaded applications in 
C++ with temples. Includes TCMalloc, 
heap-checker, heap -profiler, and cpu- 
profiler." The project Web site at 
sourceforge.net/projects/goog- 
perftools is less modest and more per- 
sonal, at least in part: "The fastest 
malloc that we've seen, works particu- 
larly well with threads and STL." 
Version 0.3 is currently available. 

Sparse Hashtable. This project, in its 
0.2 beta release as of May 20, is de- 
scribed as containing "several hash- 
map implementations in use at Google, 
similar in API to SGI's hash_map class, 
but with different performance charac- 
teristics, including an implementation 
that optimizes for space and one that 
optimizes for speed." The project page 
at sourceforge.net/projects/goog- 
sparsehash goes further: "An extremely 
memory-efficient hash_map imple- 
mentation. 2 bits/entry overhead!" 

Sitemap Generator. Per Google, 
"Sitemap Generator is a simple script 
that can be configured to automatically 
create Sitemaps and submit them to 
Google. Sitemap Generator can create 









. i ; , _* — . (. . . b ■ 






Sotoshi* s Corner 


I 


kfcms | Abbut | C-anTwr | ftSS 








,,..:-,„ 







Paul Hachmann's blog has tripled its 
monthly hits since he started 
using Sitemaps. 



£»-■ . . 




n 


; p« .»*.*»: .'•„»- 








•a* 


ph***™** 


rtmrkKMWt > Rwj^e > pCoSiltinflpMG > Crawtor 




oSSr"" 1 '' 


phpSilenupNG Online Sltemjp Grneutoi 




£«£. _ C-HH. ii^^hn. p<vM-m*M „»„ „_^ 


gSSUn 






Related 








TNi crari* t«PW « fte»eSUefnas*« 1 ,5 9) "III tft-l jw 






5,4 *■ mfemiothsii 




JJil§P "" 




|2«*«? ™ 




r35f'""" 


tl 



Tobias Kluge's online crawler will generate 
your own Google Sitemap. 



these Sitemaps from a URL list, access 
logs, or a directory path hosting static 
files corresponding to URLs. . . . The 
sitemap_gen.py script analyzes your 
Web server and generates one or more 
Sitemap files. These files are XML list- 
ings of content you make available on 
your Web server. The files can then be 
directly submitted to Google." The pro- 
ject page is at sourceforge.net/pro 
jects/goog-sitemapgen. Unlike other 
current Google projects, this one also 
has a page devoted to third-party pro- 
grams that support the Sitemaps API 
(code.google.com/sm_thirdparty.html) 
and another explaining in detail the re- 
quirements, installation, and trou- 
bleshooting of the Sitemap Generator. 

Google Code Projects At Work 

Tobias Kluge, who runs a German 
ISP (Internet service provider), is very 
taken with both open source and 



Google's Sitemap Generator. He has 
released phpSitemapNG, a free php (a 
server- side HTML embedded scripting 
language that provides Web developers 
with the necessary tools to build dy- 
namic Web pages) based on the Google 
project. According to Kluge, "The lack 
of functionality in Google's Sitemaps 
Generator is because it is written in 
Python, which only a few Web hosts 
support, and it cannot handle dynamic 
pages. Google's site maps generator can 
only find physically existing files." 

Paraphrasing Kluge's information on 
his Web site at enarion.net, "phpSite- 
mapNG's plug-in architecture makes it 
possible to create and integrate custom 
plug-ins in minutes. At the moment, 
there is one main class that handles the 
user input and control flow, and an- 
other that deals with output and some 
logic functions. Settings are handled by 
a third class that behaves like a registry. 
Only a session-based storage class is 
available at the moment: no ability to 
store in a file system or database. These 
are under development." You can find 
a demo crawler at Kluge's site, as well, 
both to show off the quality of his 
crawling engine and to create a site 
map. The process is simple, and the 
crawler takes roughly 30 seconds to do 
its work. (Note that your IP is logged at 
that time, but Kluge has no plans to use 
that data for commercial purposes.) 

Kluge also provides a small XSLT 
code download that makes Google's 
Sitemaps files (which are machine- 
readable XML text) much simpler for 
mere humans to understand. Written 
by Baccou Bonneville and updated by 
both Johannes Muller and Kluge, the 
Google Sitemaps Stylesheet displays a 
complete list of site map files, along 
with priority, change frequency, and 
last modification date. It can do a pri- 
mary sort on any field. 

The Developers' Perspective 

Another programmer making use of 
Google's open-source projects is Paul 
Hachmann. Though a software devel- 
oper by profession, his experience with 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 117 



Google Tools 



LumMjjiiw^mmiwHMw 



o^' i si .21 ; ,. s»iii ,-f™te f - , 



GooQle 

Groups^'"' 1 



W*b nr.age-s Groups Me*.- F-ocglf Ucs more- 



AdWords API Forum 

My stores & lopics £ ^ Starl * mm topfc Up^uuv 






My letcnl yiuurn 

•Kcnjulo 



googJt-ejsiK-diecuss' OB) 



. Prsbl«m with small client 
wliue - Aug J1 . 7:ffi am 

- , Writ 'I I wui '. lu -Tt jlu ii rufiLH ' Jr oo.-h _- 1 ■«_ -iL il i-j -..jirinu f.'iy ■ I. b jl I iuwv .1 wri.uli.iri 
H*h One customer. The only difference is on [he email address where 1heif is a number. The 

new of 1 mecsage- 1 author 



U s-i.J Ir.i l<.'.;n£<s:e = ' :irstD3^i:OD5-CS-2ST-(H.QDKZ^siar-D*i*>' ferdDa!e = 
VendDa:e>2utH-Q0-20T2D:G9 rjOZ-VendD^e-* wien I jse lie above 1"Tib scope .the rep 
. want the report list ot 
or: messages- 2 authors 



•■■■: ■■•, group | 
View 5il las only Viewing with msraags lent 



Get PUP AdWofde API Ub 



IMiiindOW-Tiif 




4, tiwir, Mimg. C*imjar u 



l j-r\ =■•;■■= 

M'3 -'It i = iJ6i ■ I' ilL'hCS 

setKeywordListMaxCpc 

lin>i:<:lnnqiii Aug :«l, 4 11/ |ini 

I keep getting Ihis error , " operation description is missing parameter dascflpliorf" Oddly 

<■■' sii.thi! ■■ ini, :l ri :| it u|:;ii'.iri h: ,',. -k .in ■:,.:,■. n V ,t,I i , Ci lilt ii-ini- ir.i-"[ ,:: 



Google's open-source project forums are a great resource 
for developers. 




v*«« e 0* 



Google 



?uv«li; Silcrw, Humv 




Google Slta-mapE (BETTA) Help 



About Google Sitemaps 

Hi!.jn:h iTiijiiii: :::ti ,i:. (i qli - rii;,i:im!i irili.in iln.'i ;i! : y.iui Mir liy 

j v; y- ■ .:, :.:,ii- Hre ti :,.■.,■. as i.oi«rs' to craw( the web. Once the spiders find 
i srtfl.rhpy'nllrfti ik< s-,1! Hip =.,|a I i r.ilr=i lfnnu'inr ahiiil ill rr.P r .aqm 
The fpidera periodica^ rewsit sites :o 'nd lev, nr :haiged content. 

Ivini|li' Sni!iii.i| , i: ,ii I'sni'i -niTil inwi'h r..-..' -nq Hy i-.n- | Xilnni i| ■. hi n ini 

-it Jue:i x- cs-'.-lfs ■■-■= lorsioeiiisncoL'Cj^iije sl'i'ie .'?L arlsoeeJ 
,,,, II..- Mr., u.nry ..id uijitl.on ,K ,1.11,1,': M cm irrini 



: e Sitemap 
■ Submitting, a mubile 



nt or pages than,* ■ - ■ < 



If jiiur Bits h.iE dynarr 

I' i ii ; In •.. i n ii, im- ,j - •■'! irn.ii fin..- h' ■ -i , II! jii'«. 

oi youi s le *!■ ; leips the spiders- know what Uffl.s ere available or yc jf site 



to your cite Qiist as yoor home page 

.imtHIMI '.ill n i[i In; I ir , ;ini|i,irn ill .!■■: 'ml n-iiliji:-! li'ir minimi mimI i'l i:' 

: ; - j-116 . ?f '})Oi ^ i:ill ;*; :i t; i.it ,.ir.t t; ,'M.,i ;;?s the sanva waij it 

;■ t; ;■:.; .; = idc :io> ^1 n -ji'i;: :n ;l- i' ■•:* n;;- r'.c t:ht'-Mi* t icc-e' i :e? 
s e le-e- |:?ns :ec foi u< lg 'I- ; sei-wice " us i i be'a ;«; :m v ■; : ■'■*. •::, vk: 

nr added lo dui mc? ij-ei I me ■ -e e:-.oecl both oaverage and time-lo-ndes 1d 

Also, yoo can submit updated SflBrrtans Is yoo URLc tiange, but you dcnl 
ha™ to, vj the i^iidLT.; mil pLTiudiL^lly il-i-^iL yuL- : :•-■ >nd will uini Hiu 
fiequency infomialior -■: j i citfs in ;c ji J fei ia| s^ oi s of the fattnrs in How 
nlti-n limy ri-»i!;(l) iirn! Iimk Ini miw ii.jiji:!; 

Partici|iatiiigisejisy 



It makes total se 



possit'e.wecotiopush 

: :•■ lfanha>¥it 
pulled. Thet gives us a 
more interactive experience 
with Gttuqlr: " 

— Marshall Simntonfe 
'■■'■:i r v;A'; €■::■?■>: -i* 
lit:- ,',» "li.igaf T!>e 

>il.-X V. if^: I "la-;. I., fl v -t II.!.- 



further by Google.. This 



the CMS. V 
toenauiingeur clir'ii: •=.,=■ 
able Id t ene'f <> >n 
I irm ■ , 'i tin; imir mini: 
irnportairi search 



^~^~ 



Google Sitemaps Generator has a very detailed project page, 
complete with FAQ (frequently asked questions) and 
troubleshooting links. 



Sitemaps is strictly informal; he uses it 
for his hobby blog (www.satoshis 
corner.com). "I suppose this can make 
a case for how diverse an audience 
Google Sitemaps is suited for," he says. 
"It's a bit of a niche site and garners 
about 1,000 unique viewers on a good 
day. Outside of my regular viewers, 
Google is my top referrer, with about 
3,000 or so refers a month, all told — 
including traffic from google.co.jp, 
and, interestingly, Google's Mexican 
version. MSN and Yahoo! each garner 
a couple hundred refers a month 
by comparison." 

This wasn't always the case. "Before 
utilizing Sitemaps, my main site's cache 
lagged a week or so behind reality, 
which meant that content on my main 
page dropped off by the time it showed 
up in SERPs (Search Engine Rank 
Positioning). Now the cache is about a 
couple days behind or even less, and 
older entries quickly show up in the 
archives where they belong. I'm afraid I 
don't have any prior Sitemaps search 
statistics, but I'd say roughly that I'm 
getting about two to three times the 
traffic from Google that I was, before." 

Hachmann joined the Google 
Sitemaps Generator forum within a 
day or two of its launch. "They're con- 
stantly listening to their end users," he 



says, "and are visibly taking what they 
learn and putting it into practice. 
While we may complain the odd time 
that the Sitemap folks don't have 
much of a presence on the forum, they 
do read every message and step in 
where necessary. The fact that they 
can still cultivate a sense of familiarity, 
when the company is so big, is a big 
point in their favor." 

Kluge also got involved right during 
the early days of the Google Sitemaps 
Generator forum. "First, I did it just to 
fight against boredom," he admits, 
"but later I became more committed, 
since the people there liked my efforts. 
I have only worked with the Sitemap 
Generator, but I am reading about the 
other open-source projects. I think 
Google does a great service adding and 
supporting free information, knowl- 
edge, and software to the community. 
This forces other companies to do the 
same, or at least to think about strate- 
gies to compete with Google. It's really 
nice to see that the big-three search en- 
gine companies (Google, Yahoo!, 
MSN) having more or less the same 
features, with no cost to the user." 

Hachmann agrees, with a caveat. "I 
don't think many will argue against 
Google's quality. They make great 
products, and they're innovative. 



However, they have been spreading out 
as of late, which might reflect a change 
in their vision." As an example, 
Hachmann points to Google's philos- 
ophy page (www.google.com/intl/en 
/corporate/tenthings.html), where the 
second of Google's 10 Things philo- 
sophical ideals list used read, in part: 
"It's best to do one thing really, really 
well. Google does search. Google does 
not do horoscopes, financial advice, or 
chat." Since the advent of Google 
Talk — a chat program — the second 
point reads, "When we first wrote these 
'10 things' four years ago, we included 
the phrase 'Google does not do horo- 
scopes, financial advice, or chat. Over 
time we've expanded our view of the 
range of services we can offer . . .'" 

But Hachmann shrugs and notes, 
"It's hard to argue against that. After 
all, Google does make all sorts of cool 
stuff. And it's a well-known disease 
among tech folks that we like to play 
with cool stuff." 

Arguably, Google's open-source 
projects were intended for other pur- 
poses, but the indescribable joy that 
comes to developers from opening 
toys year round shouldn't be underes- 
timated, either. H 

by Barry Brenesal 



118 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Don't let misfortune take you down. 
Stay safe with Casper XP. 




Recovering from a hard disk disaster doesn't get any easier! 

Use Casper XP to maintain a bootable backup hard disk and 
you'll never have to worry when disaster strikes! 



C Creates a fully bootable backup of your 
Windows XP hard disk! When disaster strikes, 
simply use the backup as a complete and 
immediate replacement for your original hard 
disk. It's that easy! 

C Runs entirely within Windows! No need to 
reboot! No need for special rescue media! 

C Easy-to-use wizards quickly guide you through 
the process step by step! 



New Version 3.0! Faster and more convenient than everl 

New! Exclusive SmartClone™ technology dramatically 
reduces backup times 

New! 1-Click Cloning™ and enhanced scheduling make 
anytime the right time for a backup 

Purchase CASPER XP 3.0 before November 30th and SAVE $5.00* 
Use coupon code SC1 1 for Instant savings at www.casper-xp.com 



Backup Solution 



©2005 Future Systems Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Casper XP, the Casper XP 
logo, SmartClone and 1 -Click Cloning are either registered trademarks or trademarks of 
Future Systems Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names may be trademarks 
or registered trademarks of their respective holders. * Offer expires November 30, 2005. 



Future Systems Solutions, Inc. 

0420 S 500 East 

Bluffton, IN 46714 

U.S.A. 

Visit us at www.fssdev.com 



The Business End 



Let's Do Business 



Google As Cash Cow 




Most of us think of 
Google as a search en- 
gine that locates infor- 
mation on the Web. 
Undoubtedly, Google's 
search engine helps millions of people 
find the information they need for 
work and play. However, for business 
owners with a Web presence, Google 
offers other services and opportunities 
that are equally as important. 

As a Web site owner or adminis- 
trator, it's essential to understand 
three components of Google's services 
for businesses: placing your site in 
Google's search results, promoting 
your site with AdWords ads, and 
earning income from publishing ads 
with the AdSense program. 

Adwords. Only the AdWords pro- 
gram is fee-based, and it is big business 
for Google. In fact, Google obtains 



virtually all of its revenues from the ads 
that it displays with search results and 
on the Web sites of AdSense partici- 
pants. But, before we discuss adver- 
tising further, let's first delve into the 
science of Google search placement. 

Get Into Google's Search Results 

Perhaps the most important service 
for business owners to understand, 
Google's basic search engine is free 
and can make a big difference to the 
bottom line of an online business. The 
trick, if you're trying to sell products 
or services on the Web, is getting your 
site at the top of Google's search re- 
sults so that potential customers find 
you before they find your competitors. 

How it works. Google's search en- 
gine uses a robot (also known as a 
crawler, spider, or bot) that continually 



examines billions of Web pages. The 
bot indexes and maintains a database 
of Web pages for the search engine to 
use to locate information. To ensure 
that the Google robot (or Googlebot) 
finds your Web site, it's best to register 
online with Google at www. google 
xom/addurl. 

To provide the best results for a 
search query, Google employs a trade- 
marked PageRank technology. Page- 
Rank determines the importance of a 
Web page based on millions of vari- 
ables. Of these, the pages that link to 
your site play a large role in deter- 
mining rankings. Some linked pages 
have greater value, thus giving your site 
a greater overall value. Important sites 
receive a higher PageRank and appear 
at the top of the search results. 

In addition to the PageRank system, 
Google's search mechanism analyzes 
the content of a page to determine its 
relevance to a search query. The 
analysis goes beyond simply finding 
keywords. Instead, this hypertext- 
matching analysis looks at keywords in 
the context of the Web page's content, 
organization, fonts, and more. 

What you can do. Google does not 
share all of the specifics about how its 
search algorithm (rules for ranking 
and indexing Web pages) works, but 
the company does give you guidelines 
for designing the structure, content, 
and code for your site to improve its 
chances of being found by a related 
search query. For example, your site 
should have a clear hierarchy; it should 
include a site map with links that point 
to the important parts of your site, and 
it should use text instead of images or 



120 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



graphics to display important 
links, content, or names. 

Obviously, using the right key- 
words in your site is also impor- 
tant. The words you use in your 
pages should reflect your compa- 
ny's products and services. Goo- 
gle warns Webmasters to be 
careful to design pages for users, 
not search engines. If you fill your 
site's pages with irrelevant words, 
duplicate content, or other decep- 
tive material, it can result in 
Google dropping your site com- 
pletely from the search results. 

If you need help. Not surpris- 
ingly, creating high-ranking pages 
has become an industry of its 
own. Books and online services 
designed to help you optimize your site 
for search engines are plentiful. Some 
of the more reputable online resources 
include Submit It! (www.submitit 
.com) from Microsoft and Search 
Engine Watch (www.searchengine 
watch.com). Google's information on 
SEOs (search engine optimizers) also 
provides tips to help you choose a 
company or service to help you with 
your site's search ranking. See 
www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/ 
for a list of information, including de- 
tails about SEOs, the Googlebot, and 
design guidelines. 

Try Advertising With AdWords 

Another way to get exposure for 
your site's products and services is 
through ads. Known at Google as 
AdWords, these are the small, text-only 
ads that display in the top and right 
margins of Google's search results. 
Google displays ads that relate to Web 
content or to a search query entered by 
a Google user. For example, if you 
search for running shoes, Google dis- 
plays related ads for running shoes in 
the margins of the search results. 

Big bucks. AdWords is a fee-based 
service, and as noted previously, it's 
Google's primary source of Google's 
revenue. In fact, according to the com- 
pany's financial reports, advertising 



Google 






| Search | 



Results I - 10 of abou for . (0.12 seconds) 

Sponsored Links 



Running Shoes Sponsored Links 

www.roadrunnersports.com Road Ri Free Shipping 

Need Running Shoes? 

www.BrooksRunning.com High-Perfi Designed For 

:: ■ ... ■ .-;:.- 

Running Footwear 

/ - . ■ •■ ... ... : 

Brands, Shop & Compare! 

' - : ' - , Running Shoes fro it 

Balance ... 

;■;,„':,, .. . .-.,.,: . . ......... . • . . ■ 

www.ParagonSports.com 

lit i/- 131' 



Runniini Shoes at Zappos 

:■:!■: ';'■;; . . ;■.: ; .... .. 

. ■ ■ • 



Running Shoes- Free Ship 
Running Shoes from Asics, Mizuno, 

• • i 'nlirieEhoes.com 



:. ..'.;;.' .. '■..... ",' .... 



- milar pages 






Running Shoes 

:. . [■■ - ._::"'. .■:.,' •■■:! 

brand names at Eastbay.com. 
■tbay.com 

Running Shoes 

..... .. . . .... . .. 

__=^_ - ' ■ ■ ■ ■ . 



Google's AdWords advertisements display in the 
right margin and above the search results. The ads 
relate to the search query and keywords entered in 
the Google search box. 



comprised 99% of Google's revenues 
in the first and second quarters of 
2005. AdWords debuted in the fourth 
quarter of 2000. It originally charged 
subscribers each time their ad dis- 
played on a search results page. In 
2002, Google changed the fee structure 
to a cost-per-click model. This means 
that subscribers to the service pay only 
when someone clicks through the ad. 

In addition to displaying ads in 
search results, AdWords also appear on 
the Web sites of participants in the 
Google Network. Known as the 
AdSense program, the ads are distrib- 
uted in two ways. One method, called 
AdSense For Search, distributes ads 
through search results on Web sites 
that include Google's search box. 
AdSense For Content, the second 
method, displays Google-generated ads 
related to the content on a participant's 
Web page. Google started the AdSense 
For Search program in the first quarter 
of 2002 and the AdSense For Content 
program in the first quarter of 2003. 

For the second quarter of 2005, 
Google's total ad revenues topped 
$1.38 billion. This was a record for 
Google, with revenues 10% higher than 
the first quarter of 2005, which was also 
a record-setting quarter. Sites owned 
by Google generated $737 million, or 
53% of total revenues. Revenues gener- 
ated from Google's partner sites 



(through the AdSense program) 
contributed $630 million, or 46% 
of total revenues. 

Create a campaign. Obviously, 
ad revenues reap big bucks for 
Google. One reason is that 
Google has made it fairly simple 
to create an ad campaign. An on- 
line tool, located at adwords 
.google.com, walks you through a 
four-step process to create your 
ad. The process starts by defining 
the language and geographic lo- 
cation of your target audience. 
This improves your chances of 
reaching potential customers, be- 
cause you can target specific 
_ cities, states, and regions as ap- 
propriate for your business. 
The second step involves creating an 
Ad Group, which is the ad and the key- 
words you want to associate with it. 
The ad consists of four lines: a headline 
(maximum 25 characters), two lines of 
text (maximum 35 characters each), 
and your Web site's address. Google 
offers a variety of tools and suggestions 
to refine your ad and keywords. 

Of course, budgeting is an important 
aspect of a Google ad campaign. It's the 
third step of the process, and Google 
lets you define a limit so that you don't 
exceed your budget. You can also limit 
the CPC (cost-per-click, the amount 
you pay if someone clicks your ad), and 
you can set a total daily budget. Google 
recommends a minimum investment 
of $30 per day and requires a min- 
imum CPC of 5 cents. 

As you set your budget, Google's on- 
line tool provides recommended 
amounts for your campaign's CPC 
based on the ad you've defined. Google 
employs a unique bidding system to 
determine which ads display more 
often than others and in what order. 
Your keywords, target market, and 
budget need to work together to im- 
prove your ad's chances of displaying 
before and more often than your com- 
petitors' ads. The Google sign-up 
process includes tools to help you fore- 
cast your ad campaign's results and 
tweak it, if needed, to give you the best 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 121 



The Business End 



results within your budget. It also pro- 
vides a campaign management tool 
that lets you track performance. The 
fourth and final step in the process is to 
review the previous steps and create 
your account and login information. 

Generate income with AdSense. 
Google's AdSense program displays 
ads from participants in the Google 
AdWords service. The program finds 
and displays ads that are relevant to 
your site based on Web page content 
or search terms that a visitor enters in 
the Google search box on your Web 
site. Depending on the program 
and types of ads targeted to your 
Web site, your company receives 
income for publishing the ads. 

With AdSense For Content, you 
agree to publish AdWords ads that 
are targeted to the content within 
your Web site. Google's tech- 
nology analyzes your site's content 
and selects the ads that are most 
relevant. AdWords advertisers can 
also target ads specifically to your 
Web site. By contrast, AdSense For 
Search displays AdWords ads tar- 
geted to the search query entered 
by a visitor to your Web site. This 
is similar to adding the Google free 
search box to your site, but your com- 
pany gets the added benefit of receiving 
revenue from the AdWords campaigns 
of others. The AdSense For Search fea- 
ture is also more customizable than the 
free search tool. 

To generate income with AdSense 
For Content, your company receives 
payment in most cases based on visi- 
tors who click through an ad dis- 
played on your site. If an AdWords ad 
is targeted to your site specifically by 
its owner, you can also receive income 
based on the number of times the ad 
displays, which is known as CPM 
(cost-per-thousand impressions). 
Google does not share specifics about 
how it calculates the income you re- 
ceive from AdSense programs, but it 
costs nothing to become a publisher. 

The process for applying to become 
a Google publisher is online at 
www.google.com/adsense. If Google 



approves your application, within a few 
days you receive information via email 
about how to set up the program. The 
program includes an online reporting 
system that details the revenue that 
AdSense generates from your Web site. 
Google has built in numerous op- 
tions that let you customize AdSense 
for your Web site. For example, you 
can pick the layout of the ad from a se- 
lection of formats designed by Google. 
Most formats are text-based; however, 
Google has begun to offer image ads 
with AdSense for content. You can 




Job update po si e d 3/23/2005 

Technicalities 

Programs 

;■'.'■■.''■.:■ . ' . 

•'■;.;.:" '"•■ : ' ",:.-:.. I 



The Google search box is a free service that you 
can add to your Web site and can help your 
visitors search the Web or your site only. 



place up to three ad groupings on a 
page, including image ads. When 
Google is unable to locate a targeted ad, 
you can fill the ad space with alternate 
ads, custom messages, or a solid color. 
You can also block ads from competi- 
tors. When displayed on your Web site, 
AdSense ads are branded by text that 
states Ads By Google. 

Google's AdSense partners include 
companies large and small. Some of the 
more recognizable partners include 
The Weather Channel, EarthLink, 
Disney Online, BizRate.com, Ask 
Jeeves, AOL, and Amazon.com. Dan 
Hogan, the owner of a science news 
Web site www.sciencedaily.com, states 
that "The ads really match our articles. 
For visitors, the AdSense ads are a 
useful extension of our content." 
According to a case study of Science- 
Daily, 66% of the online magazine's in- 
come comes from AdSense. 



If you need help. Similar to search 
engine optimization services, Google's 
AdWords program has resulted in a 
side industry of companies willing to 
design an ad campaign for you. If you 
need assistance, however, consider 
Google's Jumpstart service for first- 
time advertisers. With Jumpstart, 
Google's staff designs an ad campaign 
for your company at no charge; the 
catch is that your initial campaign 
budget must be a minimum of $299. 
For more information, see adwords 
.google.com/select/jumpstartwelcome. 

Add Google To Your Site 

Google offers many services to 

enhance your Web site with its 

search technology. If you want to 

give your site's visitors easy access 

to Google, you can display the 

Google Free Web search or Google 

Free Site search boxes on your site. 

By simply pasting some HTML 

(Hypertext Markup Language) 

code into your Web pages, you can 

provide a Google search box for 

visitors to your site. There are 

three options: Google Web search 

(searches the entire Web), Google 

SafeSearch (searches the entire Web 

while filtering adult content), and 

Google Web search with SiteSearch 

(searches users' choice of the entire 

Web or only your site). See "Give Your 

Web Site Google Power"on free Google 

search tools for your site on page 128. 

Take Advantage Of Google 

With numerous services available to 
businesses and its positioning as one of 
the top destinations on the Web, 
Google has a lot to offer Web site 
owners and administrators. If you have 
a product or service to sell, it's impera- 
tive that your site is included in 
Google's search index. And the AdSense 
program can help you generate addi- 
tional revenue through targeted ads. H 

by Carmen Carmack 



122 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



Get The Word Out 

Advertise Your Web Site On Google 



wWl v. FRAMINGANDMATTING .COM 




They're out there: thousands of 
potential customers wanting 
information about your com- 
pany and its products or ser- 
vices. So you've created a Web site 
that displays your business to its best 
advantage, and you've made the site 
easy to navigate and understand. But 
there's one problem. Those con- 
sumers have never heard of you, your 
company, or your products. How in 
the world do you get them to walk 
through your virtual doors? 

By getting yourself noticed on 
Google, of course. Google has be- 
come synonymous with finding in- 
formation on the Web; the word has 
even evolved from a brand name to a 
verb, as in "I Googled my new boss 
to see what I could find out about 



her." When your would-be cus- 
tomers want to know who offers 
what they need, Google is one of the 
first places they'll look. 

Therefore, it's crucial that you give 
your company presence on Google. 
We say "give" because, despite what 
may appear to be a mysterious process 
to the outside observer, site listings 
don't randomly appear on Google. 
Instead, there are specific procedures 
and techniques that you can take ad- 
vantage of in order to increase your 
visibility online. To some extent, you 
can determine whether your business 
is listed on Google, and you can 
enhance your Web page so that your 
site appears higher in search results 
and place advertising on relevant 
search pages. 



Google Listings 

Let's suppose you're in the business 
of making widgets, and you want po- 
tential customers who visit Google to 
learn about and find your widget re- 
tail company. One way consumers 
shop online is to go to a site directory, 
where they search under companies 
that make widgets and find your 
listing there — kind of like an online 
Yellow Pages. 

But Google is not a typical site di- 
rectory, where you are listed in some 
type of organized structure, such as 
under, say, United States > Shopping 
> Gadgets> Widgets > Retailers. 
Rather, you submit a listing manually 
that lets Google know you exist, and 
the automated processes on Google's 
back end check out your site and, 
provided your site meets Google's 
criteria, add it to the Google index. 
Then, when visitors run a search 
on Google, the site may appear in the 
results page. 

Before we walk through the sub- 
mission process for listings, it's worth 
noting that it isn't necessary to submit 
your site's URL to Google in order to 
be included in the index. Google 
states flat out that most of the index 
additions are done automatically 
through Google's spiders, which are 
programs that visit Web sites, read 
pages, and supply indexing informa- 
tion to a search engine database. 
These programs are also called crawl- 
ers or bots. 

Another item worth noting is that 
just because you submit your URL, 
there's no guarantee that Google will 
add it to the index. Numerous sites 
submit URLs to be listed, and it takes 
some time for the Google folks to in- 
spect those URLs and determine how, 
or even whether, they should be 
added. Google advises Webmasters 
that the spiders will likely find the site 
before the staff gets to your URL sub- 
mission. Plus, given that Google in- 
dexes more than 8 billion pages, it's 
easy to understand why the company 
relies on its well-written automated 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 123 



The Business End 



programs rather than manual labor to 
index sites. Still, it can't hurt to try, 
and it may even help, so let's submit a 
site URL to the listing. 

Your first step is to head to the 
URL submission page at www.google 
.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl. It's 
a simple page, with a bit of informa- 
tion at the top and three boxes 
where you can type text. The first 
box, URL, is the most important. 
Here's where you can manually 
input your Web site address, such as 



ensure the Google staff pays better at- 
tention to your "application." And 
the third box is where you confirm a 
string of letters or characters, a string 
that changes each time the page loads. 
Google places this string on the sub- 
mission page to let its staff know that 
a real person is submitting the listing 
instead of an automated program. We 
recommend you fill out this box, be- 
cause if you take the time to manually 
submit a listing, it's natural that 
Google will be more inclined to pay 



Google 

Home 
About Google 

rig Programs 

Webmaster Info 
► Submit Youi Site 



I I 

f Search 1 



Add your URL to Google 



Share your place on the net with us. 

We add and rnit your URL here. We do not 

::; ! ;■:=: ."'..' [;i.. ; ; ;? ■■ ■' ■: ; ■,;■ v: : • ' ' ■■■.■■;■■. ;:?;■• ." = ' :": ■.■.:,■,,■■.: v \ :.':i ' 7 :;: : , 

Please enter your full URL, including the http:// prefix. For example: http://www.google.com/. You may also add 

'■■ ■"■ ■; ''■ ' "■ :•■.■'. : ' ' . ■ ./■;■ ' .'. '■ ■■:■;■ ■.■■■.■•■: 

age is indexed or used by Google. 
Please note: Only i ■ »ed to submit each indh 

.„■■:.■■.■■■■ . : |-!.',0 ...''•'. ¥■• ■ 



Comments: I 
Optional: 



;:■ ', . 
please type th -iters shown here into the box below. 



swarap/ 



Need to remove a site from Google? For moi 



* 



Home 



Use a simple online form to submit your URL for inclusion in the Google index. 



http://www.widgetsarewe.com. 
When you input the address, keep in 
mind that you don't need to include 
all of the subpages on your site, such 
as http://www .widgetsarewe.com/ 
contact or http: //www. widgetsarewe 
.com/storelocations. The only item 
you should submit is the top-level 
page, because Google's bots will start 
at the top and automatically crawl 
through the rest of the site. 

The second box, Comments, is 
where you can add keywords or com- 
ments for the Google staff. This sec- 
tion does not influence how Google 
indexes your page, but it can help 



attention to the work you did than if a 
"robot" did so. 

And that's it. You've done pretty 
much all you can do to manually 
get Google's attention. You can go 
through this process more than once, 
but it's likely a waste of time, be- 
cause, in Google's words, "multiple 
submissions won't improve the likeli- 
hood of your site being added or ac- 
celerate the process." Google also says 
you won't be penalized if you submit 
multiple times, but in our opinion 
you're better off submitting a URL 
once and then putting your energy 
into other projects. 



In addition, there is a related pro- 
gram you may want to investigate. 
Google Sitemaps is a beta (trial) pro- 
gram that attempts to help its spiders 
better crawl the Web and gather in- 
formation. Sometimes when sites 
have content that changes routinely, 
called dynamic content, or subpages 
that are somewhat hidden, the Google 
crawlers may have a harder time 
finding those pages. Filling out a site 
map will help the spiders know more 
about harder-to-index sites and sub- 
pages. If you have a relatively com- 
plicated site, participating in this 
program will help Google better crawl 
sites in general and perhaps your site 
in particular. 

To sign up, head to www.google 
.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en 
/overview.html for an overview of 
creating sitemaps. If you or your web- 
master has already created a site map 
using a third-party program or online 
service, you can submit that site map 
through a link on this page. The site 
map must be in a format Google sup- 
ports, and you'll need to create a 
Google account (which you may have 
done already if you use other Google 
services, such as Gmail or Google 
Groups). Then, just click the Add A 
Sitemap button, type the URL of your 
site map, and click Submit URL. 

You can also use this program to 
create a site map before you submit it 
to Google. The procedure for this 
takes some time, so we won't walk 
through it here, but if you're inter- 
ested, visit www.google.com/webmas 
ters/sitemaps/docs/en/sitemap-gener 
ator.html and follow the instructions 
for downloading the proper files, cre- 
ating a configuration file, uploading 
the files, running the program that 
will generate a site map, and submit- 
ting the final product to Google. 

Google Searches 

We're all familiar with spam, and if 
you're a business professional, among 
the unsolicited ads that have ended 
up in your email box probably is one 



124 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



that reads something like this: "We've 
noticed that your Web site isn't listed 
in the major search engines. We guar- 
antee you top placement or your 
money back." If only it were so easy. 
Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for 
getting your site ranked high on a 
search engine page. But, the good 
news is that some of this 
is in your control. 

First, it helps to under- 
stand what Google spi- 
ders look for when they're 
indexing and ranking 
sites. Google's mission, 
according to the com- 
pany, is to develop "the 
perfect search engine," 
which one of the co- 
founders, Larry Page, 
describes as something 
that "understands exactly 
what you mean and gives 
you back exactly what you 
want." Google doesn't 
disclose exactly what goes 
into the technology be- 
hind a search, but it 

does publish some gen- 
eral information. 

One bit of technology is PageRank, 
Google's proprietary ranking pro- 
gram. PageRank looks at more than 
500 million variables and 2 billion 
terms, feeds them into an equation, 
and comes up with a ranking. Part of 
the ranking is based on how many 
pages "vote" for your site by linking 
to your main page and your site sub- 
pages. Another factor that determines 
rank is your site's contents. The 
search engine looks closely at your 
page and considers what it says and 
displays, along with where words are 
located and other factors. 

What does all this mean for you? 
Well, it's easier to start with what it 
doesn't mean. It doesn't mean 
loading your page up with links or 
hidden words (words in metatags, the 
HTML codes placed in the top section 
of the coding for a Web page that de- 
scribe the page to search engines and 
are invisible to viewers visiting a page) 



will guarantee higher placement. In 
fact, we highly recommend you don't 
do this, or you risk attracting the 
wrath of the Google monitors. 

Google publishes clear guidelines 
about what it finds acceptable (www 
.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/guide 
lines.html), and loading pages with 



l Query \ 




Google Web Server 



\ 



3. The search 

.: led to the user 
in a fraction of a 

; ::. : .: 



1. The web sen/* uery to the index 

servers. The content inside the index servers is 
similar to the index in the back of a book - it tells 

atch the query. 



\ 



2. The query travels to the doc 
s e rve rs , wh i c h actually ret ri eve t h e 

■., . ■. . .... ■ .. .. .'.... 

generated to describe each search 
result. 





Potential 
Google's 



customers find you by submitting online queries; here is 
illustrated depiction of the querying process. 



hidden text, creating multiple pages 
with nearly identical content, and 
using cloaking (showing search en- 
gines content that you don't show 
your human visitors) are absolutely 
not on the list. If you violate these 
guidelines, Google reserves the right to 
remove your site from its index. And 
once that happens, there's little chance 
of going back. Your site won't show 
up when users run the Google search 
engine, and it won't show up on 
the sites run by any of Google's nu- 
merous partners. 

As for what you can or should do, 
much of that is common sense. A 
good general principle to follow is to 
create the site as you want users to see 
it, and the spiders will react accord- 
ingly and appropriately. Don't put 
too many links on a page (Google rec- 
ommends fewer than 100), make sure 
the information is clear, and include 
words on your site that users are 
likely to type into search engines 



when trying to find you. And, of 
course, you want the site to be usable. 
Broken links not only annoy your vis- 
itors, they stymie the crawlers. 

There are some technical details to 
cover, as well. For example, Google 
spiders don't pick up on text inside 
images. While this may be a great 
technique for avoiding 
spam — you may want to 
"hide" your email ad- 
dress by creating it as an 
image, rather than as a 
clickable "mailto:" link, 
thereby preventing a 
spammer from automat- 
ically culling your ad- 
dress — it isn't so great 
for getting noticed by a 
crawler. And, if you 
track a human visitor's 
site usage, make sure you 
(or your Webmaster) 
don't require a crawler 
to be tracked through 
the site, such as with a 
session ID. For more de- 

tails on recommended 

steps to take, visit the 
Google Webmaster Guideline page at 
www.google.com/intl/en/webmas 
ters/guidelines.html. 

Lastly, we mentioned earlier that 
one of the factors placing you high 
on a Google site is the number of 
sites that link to you. It's unwise to 
join a program that does nothing but 
create multiple links among unre- 
lated sites with the purpose of regis- 
tering higher in a Google search, 
because that goes against the Google 
guidelines. It does make sense, how- 
ever, to encourage relevant sites to 
link to you. One neat feature Google 
offers is a Google Link Search. When 
you use this feature, Google will tell 
you what sites link to yours. 

Visit www.google.com/help/fea 
tures.html#link and scroll to the 
bottom of the page and the last entry, 
Who Links To You? In the text box, 
type link: followed by your site name, 
such as link:www.widgetsarewe.com, 
and click the Google Search button. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 125 



The Business End 



You may be surprised at who 
links to you, or doesn't, and it 
can spark ideas of other rele- 
vant sites you may want to 
contact about creating a link 
to your site. 

Where's My Site? 



Gougle 



Wel> Image; : niggle Local more » 



computing 



Web 



Smart Computing Magazine 

'^miiit Computing Yc computer magazines, 

computer « and computer reviews. 

www. sm a rtco m puti n<j.com/ - 95k - Aug 23, 2005 - 



Smart Computing Article - Fishing For Success 

Smalt Computing Article - Fishing For Success. ... Hot items e computer books and 

include lobster, T-shirts 
www.snm itcomputiiuj. com/... /article. asf:?srti::le=articles/ 
iizz40 - 30k - 



OK, you've submitted your 
URL and optimized your con- 
tent so that your site appears 

high up in a Google search for 

widgets, and for a while all is 
good. But one day, when you run 
your regular Google search, the site 
doesn't appear at all, or it's much far- 
ther down the list. This doesn't neces- 
sarily mean something is wrong, 
although it might be an indication. 
Google conducts regular index up- 
dates, and when it does, new sites may 
be added that outrank yours. 

Another factor may be that many 
sites that used to link to you no 
longer do, so use the handy tool we 
just covered to see if that's the case. 
Or, maybe your server was down 
when the spiders went crawling by, 
and they couldn't "see" your site. If 
you suspect this may be the case, 
check with your hosting company to 
see if they've experienced any prob- 
lems recently. 

Your site ranking may also change 
because your site itself changed, and 
that brings up another issue to keep 
an eye on. If you've changed your site 
and Google is still displaying the out- 
dated information, that's likely be- 
cause Google's crawlers have not yet 
visited your new pages. Just wait a 
day or two, and the next time the 
search bots visit your page, they'll 
submit the correct information into 
the Google database. 

Finally, you may want to remove a 
site from the Google index. Google 
policy clearly states that the company 
wants to provide a "thorough and un- 
biased" search and that the company 
does not believe in censorship. If a 
site is on the Web, the odds are good 
that it will appear in a Google index 



Google automatically creates the snippets that appear 
when your site is returned in a user's search. 



and stay there, with the exception of 
the sites where the Webmaster is 
clearly trying to fool the crawlers into 
giving it an artificially high ranking. 

But there is another exception. If 
the Webmaster responsible for the 
pages makes a formal request for re- 
moval (or if legal requirements neces- 
sitate it), Google will remove all or 
part of a Web site. In short, you place 
a file on your site, called robots.txt, 
that tells search bots they are not wel- 
come and to ignore your content. 
Google provides complete instruc- 
tions on removing your site from its 
index at www.google.com/intl/en 
/webmasters/remove.html. 

The Google AdWords Program 

Most businesses, however, will 
want just the opposite of being 
removed from the Google index; 
they want as high a ranking as pos- 
sible. And sometimes, the best way 
to get noticed on Google is to pay 
for it outright. 

You've probably noticed that when 
you run a search on Google, you 
sometimes see sponsored links at the 
top of or on the right side of the re- 
sults page. These results don't land 
there simply because the site Web- 
master submitted the URL to Google 
or optimized the site for search en- 
gine indexing. They're there because 
the site was willing to pay for the ex- 
posure. AdWords is a program that 
lets you create ads and place them on 
relevant pages. 



Here's how it works. When 
you create your ad, you choose 
keywords that describe your 
products or services or other 
keywords that your target au- 
dience might be likely to use in 
a search. Then, when a con- 
sumer runs a Google search, if 
she uses your keywords in her 
search, your ad appears in a 
high-profile spot on the results 
page. This occurs on the 
— Google page and also on the 
search pages of Google's part- 
ners. These partners include Netscape 
Netcenter, EarthLink, Ask Jeeves, 
The Weather Channel, The New 
York Times, InfoSpace and Home & 
Garden Television, to name a few. 

If a user clicks your ad to go to 
your Web site, you are charged a 
small amount. This is known as pay- 
per-click advertising. You can deter- 
mine how much you are charged per 
click, and you can set limits on how 
much you pay on a daily basis. You 
can examine a personal online report 
that details your AdWords program 
statistics, and one of the items you 
can track via your reports is how 
many of those clicks lead to sales, also 
known as conversions. 

One of the most important deci- 
sions you need to make is to figure 
out where you're going to advertise, 
both in which regions (where are 
your customers located?) and on 
which search result pages. Unlike 
traditional advertising, which usu- 
ally lets you base your advertising 
placement in part on whatever de- 
tailed demographic information 
the publisher or broadcaster can 
provide you with, the pages where 
your Goggle AdWords ad appears 
are more fluid. Therefore, before 
you sign up for the program, it's 
crucial that you figure out what key- 
words your potential customers will 
be using in their searches. 

For instance, suppose your com- 
pany sells bathing suits. Someone 
who runs a search on "swimming 
pools" might be interested in your 



126 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



product, but they're more likely to 
be looking for information on pur- 
chasing a pool or pool maintenance 
and related information. Someone 
who runs a search on "tankini," 
however, is more likely to be looking 
for what you have to offer. 

Ready? Let's go through signing up 
for the AdWords program. Head to 
www.google.com/ads/index.html, 
click the Google AdWords link at the 
top of the left panel, and click the 
Click To Begin button under the Sign 
Up Now section in the middle of the 
subsequent page. The sign-up process 
will open in a separate window. 

In the Language drop-down menu, 
choose the language in which you 
want your ad to appear. Then, select 
the appropriate radio button, de- 
pending upon whether you'd like the 
ad to appear in an entire country, in a 
particular region, or in a custom- 
ized area of your choosing. Click 
Continue. The next page will vary 
according to the region button 
you just selected, so once you've 
added countries, selected regions, or 
otherwise determined the location, 
click Continue. 

Now it's time to write your ad. 
AdWords ads are relatively small, 
similar to classified advertising in a 
newspaper. Come up with a catchy, 
25 -character or fewer headline, two 
descriptive lines (each with less than 
35 characters), the URL the consumer 
will see, and a URL of the page to 
which your ad will link. For instance, 
you may want your visitors to see 
"www.widgetsarewe.com," but you 
may want them to link to a back-end 
page with lots of funky characters in 
the address, such as www. widgets 
arewe. com/sales/item. asp?item=item 
%2archive%... (you get the picture.) 
Google checks the page functionality 
before presenting the next page in the 
sign-up process, Choose Keywords. 

You've already figured out your 
best keywords, so go ahead and enter 
them here. Click Continue. Now, 
you've entered the most confusing 
part of the sign-up process, at least 



until you have some ad campaign re- 
sults to work with. Based on your 
keywords, Google calculates traffic 
and pricing estimates. The first time 
you run a campaign, it may be diffi- 
cult to figure out how much you 
should be paying per click to gain a 
new customer. Therefore, we recom- 
mend you follow Google's guidelines. 
Google will suggest a maximum cost 
per click, which is the highest price 
you're willing to pay for a customer 
to click on your ad. The higher the 
maximum cost per click, the higher 
up on the search results page your ad 
will appear. 

On the Set Pricing page, select the 
currency with which you'd like to 
pay Google, and then enter the max- 
imum amount you'd like to spend 
per day, on average, for this adver- 
tising campaign. This ensures that 
you don't go over your budget, be- 
cause once you've reached your 
spending limit, your ad will not 



Lastly, review your AdWords ap- 
plication and click Edit next to any 
of the items to change your data. 
When you're satisfied with your ad, 
click Continue To Sign Up, and fill 
in the information necessary to 
create your AdWords account: your 
email address and a password. 
Google sends you a confirmation 
email, and you can activate your ac- 
count by clicking the link in the 
email and entering billing informa- 
tion. Google charges advertisers 
paying in U.S. currency a $5 fee to 
get started, and from then on your 
costs are determined by your chosen 
budget and cost per click. 

Beyond Google 

With potential customers per- 
forming millions of Google search- 
es each day, the opportunities for 
reaching your target audience are nu- 
merous. Keep in mind, though, that 



(^*{~\t Cl\i> It's All About Results™ Help - Sign-u Den - tact 1 




► Sign up 








Choose keywords 


Common Questions 

■ 


Enter one kevword or phrase per line. Exa 


. •: . ' :; ,'- ' ».' ',, '..':. :: .1 .'.•; . ' ' '. : :: ; ■ ?.¥fi:S ;; 


digital photoc: .; by 




il 1 






■ 

■ ■ ■ ■■ 


3t ' lore Keywords 




■ AdWords Glossary 
Search Help 


Would you like '. 






Customize your AdWords ad placement by choosing relevant, specific keywords. 



appear again that day. Then, it's on 
to the cost per click. The Enter Your 
Maximum CPC box may already be 
filled in with Google's suggestion, 
but you can also click the View 
Traffic Estimator link toward the 
bottom of the page to view estimates 
for keywords based on how many 
clicks current advertisers — likely 
your competitors — are getting on 
their ads. Typically, you will want the 
cost-per-click amount to be some- 
where in the 5 to 10 cent range, al- 
though you may desire a higher or 
lower amount. Click Continue. 



getting your site noticed is just the 
first step. Before you place an 
AdWords ad, submit your URL to 
Google or attempt to increase your 
search ranking, make sure your site is 
in tip -top condition and that it stays 
that way. Because once you've cap- 
tured a customer's attention online, 
you want to make sure he walks 
through your virtual doors — and 
comes back for a second visit, [bs] 

by Heidi V.Anderson 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 127 



The Business End 



Give Your 
Web Site 
gle Power 



i 



Adding Site Search & More To Your Web Site 




When it comes to the 
Internet, "Google" is 
practically synonymous 
with "search." Wouldn't 
it be nice if you could use the same 
accurate and blazing- fast search tech- 
nology that Google uses to catalog the 
Internet to search your personal or 
small business Web site? Thanks to 
Google's free Site Search service, you 
can, and if you have a larger site or 
run a corporate Web site, check out 
our "Big Business" sidebar, which 
contains information about Google's 
more powerful hardware-based 
search products. 



Site Search: Benefits & Drawbacks 

Site Search is a subset of the 
Internet search service for which 
Google is well-known. Normally 
when users enter a search term in a 
Google Search box, they get results 
from the entire Internet. This is 
great unless you run a business that 
sells wind chimes, and visitors see 
links to your competitors every time 
they run a search for that product at 
your Web site. Site Search eliminates 
that problem by giving users the op- 
tion to only search pages at your 
Web site. 



Of course, there are several catches. 
Firstly, your pages must be in 
Google's database to show up in the 
search, so if you update information 
often, it may be outdated in Google's 
database or not even show up at all. 
The search results page is also a 
Google page, using its layout and not 
that of your site, although some basic 
modifications can be made, so it 
better fits in with your Web site. 

The interface is potentially con- 
fusing to customers because two radio 
buttons appear under the Google 
search box that appears on your site. 
The first radio button is labeled 
WWW, and if your visitor selects it, 
the search is carried out as a normal 
Google search that returns results 
from the entire Internet. The second 
radio button is labeled with your Web 
site's domain name (for example, 
www.mysite.com), and if it is selected, 
the search is only carried out on pages 
stored in Google's database that be- 
long to that domain. If visitors get 
confused and select the WWW radio 
button, they may see results from 
competitors or links that take them 
away from your site. 

Site Search isn't perfect, but it is 
free, incredibly easy to implement, 
and gives your customers a basic 
search engine for your site if you 
don't have the tools or ability to 
custom-design a search tool. You can 
easily add Google to your site so long 
as you know how to let Google find 
your site and how to make some basic 
modifications to the HTML (Hyper- 
text Markup Language) code used to 
create Web pages. 

Let Google Know You're There 

Site Search only returns search re- 
sults for your Web site if Google's 
search engine, called Googlebot, has 
"crawled" the site. Crawling is a 
process in which Googlebot makes a 
copy of your entire Web site and 
stores the data on Google's servers 
where it is indexed and added to the 
main Google search database. If 



128 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



Google doesn't know your site is 
there, it won't crawl through it, 
so the first order of business is 
to let Google know where the 
site is located. 

You can find out more about 
registering your site with Google 
in "Get The Word Out" on page 
123, but here's the short version. 
Launch your Web browser and 
go to www.google.com/addurl. 
Enter the entire address for your 
Web site in the URL box. (For ex- 
ample, type http://www.smart- 
computing.com instead of just 
typing www.smartcomputing 
.com.) Next, type a short descrip- 
tion of your site or a few keywords 
that pertain to your site in the 
Comments box to help establish the 
site's legitimacy, so it has a better 
chance of being indexed. Type the let- 
ters you see pictured in the text box 
near the bottom of the page and click 
Add URL. 

How To Implement Site Search 

Now that Google likely has your 
site copied into its search database, 
it's time to add Site Search to the site. 
This is as simple as copying and 
pasting a few lines of automatically 
generated HTML code into the Web 
editor of your choice, but there are 
several customization options to con- 
sider. We'll cover most of these in de- 
tail using Microsoft FrontPage 2003 
as our HTML editor. 

First, go to the Google Business 
Solutions page at www.google.com 
/services and click the Add Web- 
Search To Your Site link at the 
bottom-left corner of the page. 
WebSearch is Google's main search 
service, which searches the entire 
Google database, and you have to in- 
stall it in order to use Site Search. 

Click Google Free WebSearch, click 
the Terms Of Service link, read the 
document, and if you agree, check the 
I Have Read And Agree To The 
Terms Of Service box and click Get 
The Free Search Code. 



Gougle 



: 



Google Search 



O WWW © YOUR DOMAIN NAME 



The default search box must be modified to 
include your site's address. 



windows xp 




" _t~ <~ Web Search <* Search Smart Computing 



With a little editing, it is possible to completely 
change the look of the search box. 



The next page that appears con- 
tains three boxes filled with HTML 
code, and the one you are interested 
in is the Google Free Web Search 
With Site Search box at the bottom. 
Beneath the box you see a preview of 
what the search box will look like on 
your Web page, but this is customiz- 
able, and we'll talk about that in 
greater detail later. 

To add the most basic form of Site 
Search to your site, click inside the 
Google Free Web Search With Site 
Search box, open the Web browser's 
Edit menu, and click Select All. This 
highlights all of the HTML code in 
the box. Open the Edit menu again, 
click Copy, and open your HTML ed- 
itor. Open the page where you want 
to insert the Site Search box and press 
Ctrl-V to insert the code into your 
Web page just like you would add 
any other lines of HTML. Note that 
the Google search box will appear on 
the area of your Web page where you 
paste the HTML code, such as the top 
or bottom of the page. In FrontPage 
2003, open your Web site, open the 
page where you want to inset the 
search box, and click the Code tab 
near the bottom of the window to 
view the raw HTML code. If you 
want to place the box at the top of the 
page, click next to the <html> tag at 
the top of the code window, press 
ENTER to create a new empty line, 
and press CTRL-V to paste the code 



into your page. Click the Preview 
tab to see what it will look like to 
visitors and remember that you 
can move the entire block of 
code (which is designated by 
<! — Search Google — > at both 
the top and the bottom) within 
your page if you need to reposi- 
tion the search box. 

You aren't finished yet. The 
auto-generated code contains 
placeholder text that must be 
changed before it will work prop- 
erly. Placeholder text is text in a 
template that is only there to 
show you where to put pieces of 
code or alternate text and is 
meant to be changed. Scan through 
the code, and you'll see three places 
where the text Your Domain Name 
appears. You may need to scroll to the 
right to see all of the HTML text. 
Your job is to replace each of those 
blocks of text with the address of your 
Web site. Don't remove any format- 
ting such as quotation marks that are 
around the text, and you don't need 
to put http:// in front of the address. 

At this point, you've implemented 
the most basic version of Google Site 
Search. You can copy and paste the 
block of code into all of your other 
pages to add it to them as well, or you 
can customize the service so it inte- 
grates more smoothly with the look 
and feel of your Web site. 

Search Customization 

If you don't like the look of the 
Google search box, there are many 
ways to modify it. Have you noticed 
that the radio button under the search 
box says the address of your Web site 
instead of the name of your business? 
You can change the radio button text 
to anything you like by editing the last 
Web address entry you entered. Look 
for the line where you changed Your 
Domain Name to your Web address 
and ignore the entries that are in 
quotes — they need to stay like they are 
for the search engine to work. You can 
change the entry that is sandwiched 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 129 



The Business End 



between the checked> and <br> tags, 
however. If your company's name is 
Wind Chimes Inc., you could change 
the entry from Your Domain Name to 
Search Wind Chimes or Search Our 
Store to give visitors a better idea of 
what radio button to select. 

You also can modify the other radio 
button, which by default is labeled 
WWW. Look for the WWW text be- 
tween value=""> and <input and 
change it to something more intuitive 
such as Internet Search or Search The 
Web to make the choice easier for vis- 
itors. Be sure to preview any changes 
you make to be sure they don't break 
the formatting or otherwise make the 
search feature unusable. 

By default, the button people click to 
search is labeled Google Search, but you 
can change that as well. Look for the 
line that says < INPUT type=submit 
name = btnGVALUE = " Go ogle 
Search" > and change Google Search to 
something else, such as simply Search. 

Google's logo appears on every 
page that includes Site Search, but 
you can remove or change the logo so 
that your company's logo appears in- 
stead. To remove the logo, delete the 
line (or lines) of HTML code that 
read <IMG SRC="http://www.google 
.com/logos/ Logo_40wht.gif" 
border="0" ALT="Google"x/A>. 
Poof, there goes the logo. Alterna- 
tively, you can modify this code, so a 
picture of your choosing appears next 
to the search box. Replace http://www 
.google.com/logos/Logo_40wht.gif 
with the address on your Web site 
where your logo is stored, such as 
www.windchimes.com/images/logo.gif. 
For this to work, you must include 
the file name of the actual image, in- 
cluding its three-character file exten- 
sion, for example .GIF or JPG. 

Results Customization 

Although you have to customize the 
search box by hand, there are several 
changes you can make to the Search 
Results page via a Web-based interface 
that will make the Search Results page 



look better in your site. Go back to the 
Google page that generates the Site 
Search code and click the Customizable 
Google Free Web And Site Search 
Services link at the bottom of the page. 
Read and agree to the terms of service 
and click the Customize Google For 
Your Site box. Select the Customizable 
Google Free WebSearch Plus Site- 
Search radio button and enter the do- 
main names that you want to include. 
(You can add multiple domain names 
so long as you separate each domain 
name using semicolons.) 

Click Continue, and several cus- 
tomization options appear. You can 
edit the domains you entered at the top 
of the page, but the most interesting 
options are in the Optional Customiza- 
tion Of Results Page section. Although 
it is impossible to remove the Google 



What could be better? Search me. 

3 cc o = ■-■■== ■ ■=■: :■== : - : := :ri : 




Google automatically generates search 
box code that you can copy and paste 
into your Web pages. 

logo from the search page, it is easy to 
add your company logo to the top of 
the page. Just enter the Web address 
where your company logo is stored (in- 
cluding the file name and three-char- 
acter extension) as described earlier. 
Don't forget to include http:// at the 
beginning of the address. 

By default, the Results Page displays 
a thumbnail of your logo. If you want 
to display it at a larger size, enter the lo- 
go's dimensions in pixels in the Width 
and Height boxes. If you use WinXP, 
you can find out your logo's size by 



right- clicking the icon for the logo fol- 
lowed by Properties. Next, select the 
Summary tab, which lists the exact 
width and height. Otherwise use a pro- 
gram such as IrfanView (free; www.ir 
fanview.com) to easily find out the lo- 
go's dimensions. If you want to place 
your logo on the left side of the top of 
the Results Page, choose Left in the 
Alignment Of Your Logo box or select 
Center if you want the logo to appear 
in the middle at the top of the page. 

The remaining boxes let you modify 
the colors of the Results Page, so they 
better match those of your Web site. If 
your site uses a gray or black back- 
ground color, select the appropriate 
setting in the Google Logo Background 
Color drop-down menu. Otherwise 
leave it at its default White setting. 

All of the other entries except 
Background URL let you modify the 
colors of text, links, and the page's 
background. You can enter values such 
as red, blue, white, orange, green, etc. if 
you want to use the pure forms of var- 
ious colors, or you can enter hexadec- 
imal values for colors to perfectly 
match them to those used by your Web 
site. Hexadecimal (also called hex) is a 
mathematical number system where 
values are represented by the numbers 
to 9 and the letters A to F. At their 
most basic level, PCs use strings of ones 
and zeros called binary code to operate, 
and hexadecimal provides a convenient 
sort of shorthand for representing long 
strings of binary digits using only a few 
numbers or letters. It is the standard 
system used for representing specific 
color values in HTML. For example, 
FFFFFF is the hexadecimal code for 
pure white, 000000 is the code for pure 
black, and 336633 is the code for a par- 
ticular shade of green. 

You can obtain the color values 
your site uses by looking at the site's 
HTML code. BGCOLOR indicates 
the background color, TEXT indi- 
cates the color for standard text, 
LINK indicates the color used by 
active hyperlinks on a page, and 
VLINK is the color used by links a 
visitor has already clicked. There are 



130 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



entries for these values in the 
Optional Customization Of Results 
Page section. The Faint Text Color 
entry controls the look of Cached 
and Similar Pages links on the Search 
Results page, and Alternate Text 
Color controls the look of the Web 
site links included at the bottom of 




| m mm * c •.*•*•*'*; 



Google's Search Appliance is much 
more expensive, expandable, and 
powerful than the Mini, and it is 
easy to install and maintain. 



each search result entry. Skip the 
Important Text Color setting be- 
cause it doesn't affect anything on 
the Search Results page. 

Finally, you can use a background 
image instead of a background color 
to further modify the page. Just enter 
the address for the image in the 
Background URL box just as you did 
for the logo earlier. Small images are 
repeatedly tiled on the background, 
making it easy to create a pattern. 

Click Continue and enter the re- 
quired registration information if 
necessary before clicking Continue 
again. A block of HTML code ap- 
pears, which you can copy and paste 
into your Web pages and modify it as 
described earlier in the article. 



Shakedown 

Don't forget to upload your modi- 
fied Web page to your Web site and 
test everything out to see if customers 
will run into any problems. If you 
find that Google isn't crawling your 
Web site to your satisfaction or that 
customers are having trouble finding 
things at your site, the only recourse 
is to upgrade to a full-fledged search 
engine that is customizable and scal- 
able. Check out the "Big Business" 
sidebar for more on how Google can 
help you with that. H 

by Tracy Baker 



Big Business? Consider A Google Hardware Solution 



Site Search is great for adding a free, 
basic search engine to a small Web 
site, but larger and corporate sites need 
to offer visitors a more powerful and 
customizable way to search content. 
Google's search engine hardware, the 
Google Search Appliance and Google 
Mini, makes this task as easy as forking 
over some cash, plugging in a few ca- 
bles, and letting some hardware do 
most of the hard work. You'll need to 
tweak several things manually, but these 
configuration hassles are nothing com- 
pared to creating a reliable search en- 
gine from scratch, and with Google's 
tools it is possible to implement a 
world-class search engine for your Web 
site in less than an hour. 

Size Up The Costs 

Of course, all of this costs money, 
but Google's prices are reasonable 
when one considers how much it 
costs to create a search engine from 
scratch. "A midsized organization is 
going to spend between $50,000 to 
$300,000 to license, customize, 
manage, build out infrastructure, and 
update a search system in its first year 
of operation," says search technology 
guru Stephen Arnold, President of AIT 



(Arnold Information Technology; 
www.arnoldit.com) and author of sev- 
eral books, including "The Google 
Legacy" ($180; www.infonortics.com). 

The Google Mini, which indexes up 
to 100,000 files, is designed to serve 
small and medium-sized businesses and 
costs $2,995 for the hardware, software, 
replacement coverage, and one year of 
support. After that you are free to keep 
and use the hardware, but maintaining 
the support, hardware coverage, and 
software updates costs an additional 
$995 each year. 

Google's Search Appliance, which is 
designed for medium-sized and large 
businesses, indexes up to 500,000 doc- 
uments in its basic $30,000 GB-1001 
version, whereas a fully upgraded 
$450,000 GB-8008 model indexes up to 
15 million documents. 

Feature-Rich On A Budget 

Despite its ease of installation and 
configuration, the Google Search 
Appliance has some very powerful fea- 
tures. It uses the same PageRank tech- 
nology Google does to organize search 
results by relevance with terrific accu- 
racy, and it also incorporates the same 
automatic spellcheck technology that's 



familiar to Google users. It can index 
more than 220 types of files, including 
databases, and it lets administrators di- 
vide up content so that only autho- 
rized users can search sensitive 
documents. RAID support helps keep 
data safe by constantly mirroring data 
to separate hard drives, and the com- 
pany using the Search Appliance can 
completely customize search boxes 
and search results pages. 

The Google Mini is much less capable 
than its big brother, but still offers great 
value to small business owners. It 
doesn't have the ability to scan data- 
bases and lacks RAID support, but it 
uses the same search technology as the 
Google Search Appliance and also has a 
limited ability to divide Web content 
into separately searchable collections. 

Perhaps most importantly, none of 
the Google hardware products requires 
much maintenance. After the initial 
configuration, they automatically and 
constantly scan your Web site and net- 
work for new content and index it in- 
stantly, letting you add new content 
without having to do any extra work af- 
terwards. You can't put a price on that 
for harried business owners who may 
not have an IT staff on which to rely. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 131 



The Business End 



The Ins & Outs 
OfAdSense 

Depending On Your Web Site, 
Google's Ad Program Could Earn You Money 



uiisin.irt Resott AntiuiUa 

Hotel Photos, Info & Virtual Tours 

■■■■■< -■ -p.i-dia omit, 





;; s ^^ (250x250) } 

° Butt °« 025x125) 












If you're reading this, you likely 
have a Web site. 

And if you're like millions of other 
companies (or just a single person) 
with a well-designed Web site, you may 
have spent weeks or even months in 
production, haggling with design- 
ers over the difference between aqua 
and teal, or dealing with coder- 
curmudgeons whose job is to make 
your site's back-end sing. And after the 
late nights and early mornings, the de- 
sign sessions and project management 
meetings, you're left with a single, all- 
too-important question: How do I 
make the Web site make money? 



Enter Google, the rising star that 
has everyone from Wall Street to 
main street watching. Google's Ad- 
Sense program, once the province of 
big companies with more than 20 
million page views per month, now 
lets even the smallest of Web sites 
monetize their content by showing 
relevant ads from the Google net- 
work. Google's PR team even claims 
that AdSense could be the fastest (and 
simplest) way to make your Web site 
resemble a cash register. 

And it may be right. After all, it 
takes a phalanx of salesmen, book- 
keepers, designers, and programmers 
to find advertisers, sign them up, 



design ads, and host them on your 
Web site. With AdSense, Google can 
do that for you, drawing on a base of 
thousands of advertisers and sending 
you a check based on how many ads 
you show and how many of those ads 
are clicked. You can set yourself up 
in a matter of minutes, choose how 
ads are displayed (or even choose 
which ads are displayed), and get 
real-time reports on your site's profit 
potential, all for free. 

But how much sense does AdSense 
make? Does it really work, and if it 
does, what kind of sites does it work 
for? If you're a lone Webmaster build- 
ing a site with no staff or support 
team, do you have enough time to 
dabble in AdSense, and does it pay? 

Let's find out. 

The Nuts & Bolts 

As long as there's been a World 
Wide Web, there's been a problem 
with ads. Most often it's a problem of 
quantity: There are just too many ads 
for too little content on a given Web 
page, and users who want nothing but 
information are hit with dozens of ads 
that blink, shimmer, or pop up in an- 
noying windows. What's more, the 
ads are rarely relevant. A visit to a 
Web site on puppies can give you ads 
about cat food, French cuisine, or a 
low- rate mortgage. 

Not so with AdSense. Google's pro- 
gram lets you put relevant ads on 
your Web site; ads that are aimed at 
your viewers and the content they 
want. And it lets you get paid for 
them, too. 

How? First is the AdSense For 
Content program. Just sign up your 
Web site with Google, which spiders 
(or reads) the site and makes judg- 
ments about its content. Google then 
gives you a snippet of code that you 
drop into a Web page on your site. 
That code will display ads tailored to 
your site's content, and you can put 
those ads on as many or as few pages 
as you like, in nearly any position 
you like. You can even choose the 



132 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



If you'd like to see the kind of ads that Google will put on your site, 

just use the free AdSense Web tool at 

www.about-adsense.com/adsense-web-tool.html. 



AdWords: The 
Building Blocks 

AdWords are the 
ads that Google dis- 
plays on your Web 
site, and no doubt 



Sponsored Links 

Free Apple iFod 60GB 
Fill Out The Survey And Receive A. 
Free iPod With No Shipping Cost! 
FreeiPod.OnlineRev/arclCenter com 

Ipod at Amazon com 



shape, color, and size of the ads that 
will display to match your existing 
design. Google offers you 200 colors 
and 24 preset palettes, but you can 
also build your own palettes to en- 
sure that ads are displayed exactly as 
you want them. As for size, visit 
www.google.com/adsense/adformats 
for a sample of the format that 
Google ads can take. 

With AdSense For Search, the 
second AdSense program, you can 
add a Google search 
box to your Web site. 
When users search 
on a keyword, they 
view a results page 
with targeted ads that 
match your site, the 
search term, or both, 
and you're paid for 
those ads. 

You can use Ad- 
Sense For Content 
and AdSense For 
Search on the same 
Web site. In fact, 
Google recommends 
you do so to bolster 
your earnings, since 
Google pays you for 
both the number of 
ads displayed on your 
site (an impression) 
and the number of 
times they're clicked 
(a click- through). 



See our iPod store 

Massive selection and low prices. 

Amazon com electronics 



IPod Blowout Sale 

§20 off even,- ipod. Mini $169. 

20GB $264. Free shipping, no tax! 

Cts:-c.- '";8-:.c:..i:::-;B-e'"::-::sa : 3 :..;"•" 



iPods 
Save by finding bottom line prices! 
Review Merchant & Product Ratings 
www.pricegrabber.com 



Get AFreeiPod 

Free Apple iPods w/ Free Shipping 



Get Your Free iPod Now! 
wirtw.freeiPods.com 



eBay I 



Great Deals on Ipod! 
Register & Bid Today for Free 
www. eBay com 



Ipod-Cheaper Price 
Find the best prices and deals. 
Compare products, shops and reviews 
Calibex com 



Great deals on iPods 

Compare iPods & other MP3 players 

and accessories at Sharper Image. 

www.sharperimage.com 

More Sponsored Links a 



Google has a special name for 
an advertisement: AdWord. 
Pictured above are AdWords 
displayed on the results page of 
a search for "iPod." AdSense 
counts the number of AdWords 
shown on your Web site, as well 
as the number of times a user 
clicks them, to determine how 
much to pay you each month. 



you've seen them before. In fact, 
anyone who's done a Google search 
has seen AdWords: They're dis- 
played in a vertical column on the 
right side of the results page. But un- 
like the ads on other Web sites, 
they're modest and fairly unobtru- 
sive, and they tend to match the 
content of your search query. 

How does Google make that 
match? And how do you know the 
AdWords you show on your site will 
be relevant? That, be- 
lieve it or not, is one 
of the best-kept se- 
crets on the Internet. 
Google has a phalanx 
of linguists, mathe- 
maticians, statisti- 
cians, and high-end 
programmers who 
build the technology 
that reads your Web 
site and determines its 
content, but Google 
keeps mum on its 
magic formula. It 
does, however, state 
that keywords, place- 
ment, repetition, and 
even your domain 
name are all part of 
the mix. For instance, 
a Web page that puts 
the word "artichoke" 
six times at the top of 
the page will score 
better for artichoke 
content than one that 
mentions the word 
only once at the bot- 
tom of the page. 

If you'd like to see 
the kind of ads that 
Google will put on 



your site, just use the free AdSense 
Web tool at www.about-adsense 
.com/adsense-web-tool.html. In the 
yellow The AdSense Web Tool box, 
enter your Web site in the search 
field, click the Show Me button, and 
you'll see a sample of ads that could 
be shown on your site. Google itself 
offers the AdSense Preview Tool to 
AdSense members. It lets you right- 
click your mouse on any Web page 
and get a list of relevant keywords and 
ads that might be shown with the 
AdSense program. 

If you're not satisfied with the ads 
that AdSense puts on your page, take 
heart: You can tweak the system to 
give you only the ads you want. You 
can even block competitive ads or 
choose your own default ads, using a 
number of little-known AdSense fea- 
tures such as the Competitive Filter 
(which lets you remove ads of your 
competitors) and the Contextual 
Filter (which lets you fine-tune 
Google's sense of your site's content, 
to keep the wrong ads from showing 
up in the first place). You can even 
choose a default ad that displays on 
your Web site if Google can't find one 
to match your criteria. 

How Long & How Much? 

Once they know the basics, most 
AdSense users ask the same two ques- 
tions: How long does it take to set up, 
and how much will I make? 

Let's tackle the first question. It 
takes about five minutes to sign up 
for AdSense. Just point your browser 
to www.google.com/adsense and 
click the button marked Click Here 
To Apply. You'll be asked to fill 
out a brief form with your name or 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 133 



The Business End 



Google's Not The 
Only Game In Town 



AdSense is by far the kingpin of 
online ad programs for small 
and midsized Web sites (and some 
would argue for large sites, as well). 
But it's not the only game in town. 
There are dozens of other ad net- 
works that will trade you a fee for a 
bit of on-screen real estate. Some of 
them include: 



Tribal Fusion 

TribalFusion serves 9 billion 
monthly impressions on all kinds of 
Web sites, including marquee 
names such as Apartments.com and 
The Chicago Sun-Times. But to 
qualify for its program you must 
have at least 2,000 unique users per 
day. (Google, by contrast, has no 
minimum user count.) 

www.tribalfusion.com 



MaxOnline 

A division of rival search engine 
Askjeeves.com, MaxOnline works 
with site publishers and email mar- 
keters. Members of their network 
must have 500,000 page impressions 
per month. 

www.maxonline.com 



FastClick 

FastClick pays up to a whopping 
65% of ad revenues directly to Web 
site owners, and it asks for only 3,000 
page impressions per month. Like 
Google's AdSense, the FastClick 
system has tools that let you filter 
and exclude ads based on the rele- 
vance of their content. 

www.fastclick.com 



company name, address, and other 
basics. Then you'll enter your Web 
site's URL and choose a username 
and password for your account. 
Once you're done, Google will re- 
view your application and approve 
or deny it within two days. (Google 
denies sites that have illicit con- 
tent, such as pornographic material, 
drugs, or gambling.) 

Once you're approved, you'll need 
to drop some Google code into your 
Web site. Simply log on to your 
AdSense account and choose the 
size, shape, and color of the ads 
you'd like to show. Google will spit 
out a block of code that you cut and 
paste into the HTML (Hypertext 
Markup Language) on your own 
Web site. If you're not sure how to 
do this, you'll need the help of a 
good Web designer to work the code 
and make sure it's done well. 
But don't worry: It's a simple 
task that most designers can do 
in minutes. 

With the code in place, Google 
will put AdWords on your Web 
site at once, tracking the number 
of times they've been viewed and 
clicked, which adds money to 
your account. 

How much money? That de- 
pends on a number of factors. 
First, sites with more traffic will 
be paid more, since Google pays 
AdSense users for the number 
of impressions as well as the 
number of click- throughs. 

And some ads pay more than 
others. Ads for iPods, for in- 
stance, may pay more than ads 
for artichokes. (When was the 
last time you ate one?) Only 
Google and the advertisers 
themselves know the exact price 
of an ad, which is always in flux 
as Google auctions off search 
terms and ad placements all day, 
every day through its Web site. 
And bear in mind that you 
won't get the full amount that 
an advertiser pays for the display 
of an ad on your site; it will be 



split between you and Google in a 
ratio that Google has yet to release 
to the public. 

But there's one thing that's cer- 
tain with AdSense, and that's when 
you'll get paid. Like clockwork, 
Google will send you a check or an 
electronic funds transfer within 30 
days of the end of the month in 
which your account balance is $100 
or greater. 

The best way to know how big that 
check will be — and in truth, the only 
certain way to do so — is to sign up for 
AdSense and start putting ads on your 
site. AdSense users can view their 
earnings at any time by logging on 
to their account and choosing the 
Reports tab. You'll see a display of the 
number of impressions and clicks, the 
click- through rate, and of course your 
earnings to date. 



Free Telescope Catalog 



Celestron Telescope 

Superb Service Si Dealer Price-s. 



Meade, Celestron, & 
More 

-■i- i- .. S "ease & 
Celestron Dealer 25 
years cf friendly expert 
service 



Meade, Celestron, & 



More 

Premier US Meade & 

on Dealer 25 years 
of friendly expert service 



GPS for Meade 
Telescopes 

Add GPS to your ETX or 
LXD55 Scope Fully 
Integrated Unit - Only 
$169! 

= :::c€tvsniK.C3t5m 



ETX Astro accessories 

See our unique range of 
over 150 accessories to fit 
Meade scopes 

astro-enj i ne<ef i ng . com 



Shop for Meade 
Telescope 

Great deals on 
telescopes. Free bottom- 
line price comparisons. 



Meade telescopes 

Find Sporting Goods at 
Wal-Mart at Every Day 
Low Prices! 



You can format AdWords in a number of shapes, 
sizes, and colors to make them less obtrusive on 
your Web page. Three common formats are shown 
above. At the top is a banner that's 468 x 60 pixels. 
On the bottom left is a button that's 125 x 125 
pixels. And on the bottom right is perhaps the most 
popular format known as a skyscraper. This version 
of the skyscraper is 160 x 600 pixels. 



134 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 




Unlimited calling. 
US and Canada, 



1 






Search Our Archives 



in: i All News Sections 



RSS newsfeed for this page: 
Other formats: 



What's this? f:r,c ol:; r.o : .; to get free 'eec? 

Study Reconciles Long-standing Contradiction Of Deep-earth Dynamics (August 25. 2005', — Researchers have 
I ended a lc :cut vlietlisr thsre is a "primordial" layer of the Earth's mantle that has ne.sr been 

melted. They showed the mantle is. in fact. ... > full story 

Arctic Ocean Could Be Ice-free In Summer 
=> jjk. Within 100 Years. Scientists Say (August 24. 
fcfeo 2005) — If present trends continue, the current 
w *™^ melting will accelerate, driving the Arctic to a new 
seasonally ice-" -.i \ -.'- . - '■£ any the Arctic has 
experienced in the last million years, according to a ... > 
full sfoi 



from: 1 1995 v | to |2Q05 
sort: f* relevance <~ date 
[Go] > more options 



New Job Postings 



j Volcanic Blast Location Influences Climate 
! Reaction (Augl.s: 24. 2005; — If the volcanic 
ruption is strong enough it './ill inject material 
into the stratosphere more than 10 miles 
above the Earths surface Here tiny particles called 
aerosols form when the ... > full story 

Research Identifies Hot Spots' Of Ocean Productivity 

(August 24, 2005) — A study of barnacles on the central 

Orejun llhi j . . iii - it 1 1 _t = | (_t = .H-tnii 

productivity where marine life has much greater 
reproductive potential - information that could > -".. .-;::.- 



AdsbvGooooooaie 






Weather Hews Radar 






Z~ ' T..1 f . " T fS 7 I 


wnload Our Free 


Meaner Tod 


Now; 






WWW.StBIWBffi.ODR1 






Current Local Weather 






Live Streaming Weather. Forecasts. Radar, -lerts 


& More. Free! 


wvww.WsBtherBua.Dwn 






5;-r =-ac: c-s ~:;-?;lv::'\ '.; 


Insight and New 


Products 


healthcaffi.BweBta.n, 






Abrupt Climate Chanae 






Global ■, ,-ariinr; :;oca;; •-: ; 'oseurms. Articles. Cu 




■.-.-.■ diT3t-==-3-3= = o„=3Li:- :■ 














ScienceDaily relies on Google's AdSense for two-thirds of its revenue. Here, The Google AdWords 
are shown with a red border for emphasis. The owners of ScienceDaily saw their revenue jump 1 0% 
when they moved the AdWords toward the top of the page. 



Making The Most Of It 

Once you know how to get moving, 
how can you make the most of Ad- 
Sense? To some, AdSense can seem 
less of a science and more of an art, 
and there are plenty of tricks to using 
it well. 

First, you should know that Ad- 
Sense won't perform equally well for 
every Web site. It works best on sites 
with heavy traffic. (The more traffic, 
the more money you make.) Of 
course, sites with heavy traffic are 
most often sites with useful, fresh 
content, so don't expect a stale elec- 
tronic brochure that's been online 
since last quarter to bring in major 
dollars through AdSense. 

Niche sites, on the other hand, 
tend to do well. Sites that talk about 
specialized fields with an eager audi- 
ence are likely to have many viewers, 
be they neurologists or Tibetan 
Buddhists. And of course, if your 
niche site draws ads with high-paying 
keywords, all the better. 

Personal Web sites rarely do well 
with AdSense, unless they have a 



stock of fresh content that draws large 
numbers of users. And Google pro- 
hibits the use of AdSense on sites with 
"excessive" profanity or violence (a 
distinction that's up to Google, not 
you, to make) or the presence of any 
form of bigotry. Content about illicit 
or even prescription drugs, hacking, 
and tobacco are verboten, as are 
pornography, gambling, or simply ex- 
cessive advertising and pop-ups that 
exceed five windows per user session. 

All this aside, you'll benefit from 
choosing the right format for your 
AdWords. Google claims that wide 
formats tend to work better than tall 
formats, since they let viewers read a 
block of words or a whole ad without 
having to scan down a page. The large 
rectangle format (336 x 280 pixels), 
the medium rectangle (300 x 250 
pixels), and the wide skyscraper (160 
x 600) are known to work best. 

The Fine Print 

As always, there are restrictions to 
deal with. You should know the basics 
before you sign up for AdSense. 



First, you can put up to three ad 
units on any page of your Web site. 
(For most site owners, of course, 
three is more than enough.) And 
you can put no more than two 
AdSense For Search boxes on any 
one page. 

You can't put a Google ad on any 
page of your site that doesn't display 
useful content, such as a contact 
screen or a page that describes your 
Web site's legal policy. Those may 
be useful to you, but Google wants 
nothing to do with them. And 
you can't put ads on pages that 
show nothing but ads. It's a trick 
that Google has long been wise to, 
and it can get you thrown out 
of AdSense. 

Yes, you can sell other ads on your 
site — AdSense does not make an ex- 
clusive claim to your on-screen real 
estate — but you must let an AdWord 
launch a new window from your Web 
site. In other words, people who click 
an AdWord on your Web site will 
leave your Web site. 

There are other restrictions, of 
course. Among these is the rule 
against using incentives that ask users 
to click ads, including a "Visit Our 
Sponsors" line that's all too common 
on the Web. Google insists on avoid- 
ing these techniques because it lowers 
their advertisers' costs. And you 
can only label your ads with the 
words "Advertisements" or "Spon- 
sored Links," nothing else. 

But apart from such restrictions, 
AdWords can be a useful and even 
lucrative tool for your Web site. It 
not only pays you for ads you dis- 
play, but it also tends to display only 
those ads that users want to see, 
based on the nature of your content. 
In the end, that means you're doing 
more than making some money; 
you're using Google to give users a 
better Web site, and that's a useful 
pursuit indeed. Qjs] 

by David Garrett 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 135 



The Business End 



i 



gle Desktop 
Search For 



Enterprise 

Simplify Your Search For Documents, 
Emails & Web Sites 




A productive company can no 
longer be identified by scur- 
rying employees and the con- 
tinual jangle of telephones. Today's 
wired workforces display their pro- 
ductivity by the steady click- clack of 
keyboards and, more tellingly, by the 
creation of hundreds, if not thou- 
sands, of new documents every day. 

But creating so many new docu- 
ments is only half of productivity. 
Without the ability to find relevant 
information and reference past work 
quickly, employees will be left 
spending far too much time searching 
for what they need, rather than using 



it to continue in their tasks. That's 
why Google introduced its Desktop 
Search For Enterprise, a free tool that 
helps employees find what they need 
on their own computers in a way 
that's similar to doing a search on 
Google (www.google.com). 

The application grew out of Google 
Desktop, a Windows-based PC tool 
for consumers that gives them easy 
access to information on their com- 
puters and from the Web. It can look 
through email, computer documents, 
music, photos, instant messaging chat 
sessions, and Web pages that have 
been visited. 



The search page looks like the 
Google page, with a single entry field 
where a user inputs keywords and 
then gets relevant results that provide 
links to the information. With 
Desktop, a result might link to an 
email, for example, and provide basic 
information about the sender, when it 
was sent, and the subject line. 

Google Desktop Search For Enter- 
prise has the same capability as the 
consumer-oriented version, but with 
several features specifically geared for 
company use, such as enhanced secu- 
rity, centralized configuration, and 
easy companywide installation. 

How It Works 

Find Google Desktop Search For 
Enterprise at desktop.google.com/en 
terprise. After filling out a registration 
form, you can download the applica- 
tion for free. The download includes a 
PDF file for administrators that's de- 
signed to make installation easy on a 
computer network. 

Following its fairly quick installa- 
tion process, the application begins to 
index files, so it can have them handy 
for later searches. This is akin to going 
through a company file room and 
looking at every document in the cab- 
inets to know where each file folder is, 
what's in it, and what content is in- 
cluded in those papers. 

The time it takes for the indexing 
process depends on how much infor- 
mation is on a company network and 
how much hard drive space is taken 
up by searchable files, so users 
shouldn't plan to download the soft- 
ware and begin using it immediately. 
For an indication of indexing time, 
users have reported that the process 
tends to take between three to five 
hours for a 10- computer network. 

Network admins can set the software 
to index only certain file types, if a 
company is reluctant to peer into email 
and Web history information. Once 
the selected files are indexed, Google is 
able to quickly tap in to that infor- 
mation and provide small snippets of 



136 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



descriptions in its search results. To go 
back to the file room analogy, it's like 
asking someone that's just evaluated 
every document what they know about 
a certain letter, for example, and having 
them tell you who it's from, when it 
was sent, and which line in the letter is 
relevant to your question. 

Benefits For Users 

Google has made sure to include a 
large number of popular business file 
types and applications in the search 
capability, including Outlook, IBM 
Lotus Notes, Outlook Express, Net- 
scape Mail, Mozilla Mail, and Thun- 
derbird. Business file types that can be 
searched include Word, Excel, 
PowerPoint, PDF, MP3, image, audio, 
and video files. The tool can look 
through some sections of a company 




desktop search tool. But it's likely that 
Google will be tweaking this part of the 
software in the future because in late 
August the company came out with its 
own instant messaging and voice appli- 
cation called Google Talk. 

Desktop Search For Enterprise 
sorts results in several ways. At the 
top the page tells the user how many 
emails, files, Web histories, and chats 
a term appears in and then gives more 
description in subsequent listings. For 
example, a search for "sales presenta- 
tion" could bring up an AIM chat 
with another employee, a page from 
the company intranet about confer- 
ence room booking schedules, or an 
email announcement about an up- 
coming presentation. You can sort the 
results either by date or relevance. 

When combined with one of 
Google's search appliances, the Desk- 
top Search For Enterprise 
application can also tap in 
to the Internet for search 
results or dig deeper in 
a company network and 
provide a single page of re- 
sults that pull together in- 
formation from across hard 
drives, the intranet, and on- 
line resources. 



After indexing the hard drive, Google Desktop Search For 
Enterprise can locate files and identify if they're emails, 
viewed Web pages, or other kinds of documents. 



Administrator Features 



intranet, but with much less capa- 
bility than using one of Google's ap- 
pliances (see sidebar). 

For recently viewed Web pages, the 
tool can look through Internet Explor- 
er, Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox. It 
doesn't cover the Safari browser from 
Apple or the Opera browser. 

One limitation for the searches is in 
the chat sessions. Because the enter- 
prise search tool can only look through 
AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), com- 
panies that use Yahoo! or Microsoft's 
MSN Messenger may find they have 
limited search capability using the 



Where Desktop Search 
For Enterprise distinguishes 

itself as a corporate tool is in 

its administrative features, 
which are designed to keep company 
information secure and streamline im- 
plementation and maintenance. 

Unlike the consumer-based Desktop 
Search, which is installed by a single 
user for a single machine, the enter- 
prise version is meant to be distributed 
and updated from a central location 
and configured by a Windows admin- 
istrator. It can be updated with patches 
and new versions on the administra- 
tor's computer and then pushed to em- 
ployee desktops through the network. 

The application comes with a 
Microsoft Windows Installer package, 



which includes Microsoft Group 
Policy settings. These settings let a 
systems administrator — or anyone at 
a company that's installing the soft- 
ware — put security controls in place 
during the indexing process. This is 
vital for protecting sensitive company 



Advanced Search 



For companies that need more 
advanced search capabilities and 
are willing to spend some money to 
achieve it, Google has stronger stuff 
with the Google Mini appliance for 
small and medium-sized businesses 
and the Google Search Appliance for 
large companies. 

Both appliances function in a way 
that's similar to Google Desktop 
Search For Enterprise but with much 
more power and search functions that 
are specifically geared for company in- 
tranets and internal documents. 

One immediately noticeable way 
that the appliances differ from 
Desktop is that they are appliances, 
rather than software. This means 
they are both pieces of hardware, 
each looking similar to a small pizza 
box, that are hooked up directly to a 
company's network hardware. 

Because everything that's needed 
for searching is in this appliance, it 
gives a company greater capability 
than software, which has to be down- 
loaded and installed on every com- 
puter or accessed from a central point 
on the network. With the appliance, 
Google searches become integrated 
with the network and can therefore 
look more deeply into its nooks and 
crannies to find information. 

The appliances differ from each 
other in how much they search, and 
their cost. The Google Mini can 
search up to 100,000 documents 
and costs $2,995, while the Google 
Search Appliance starts at $30,000 
for searching 500,000 documents 
and can be scaled up in cost and ca- 
pability to the point of searching 15 
million documents. I 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 137 



The Business End 



information that's at different 
levels. After all, making salary in- 
formation that's in the network 
available to anyone who does a 
search isn't quite what many 
companies have in mind when 
they want to boost employee pro- 
ductivity through file searching. 

User preferences can be cen- 
trally managed by Group Policy 
so that certain intranet pages are 
blocked from indexing or only se- 
cure Web pages can be accessed 
during a history search. 

Even if there are multiple users 
on the same computer, which hap- 
pens often with interns, part-time 
employees, or centrally located 
workstations, the settings can be 
tweaked according to user, not to 
the machine. So even if Billy the 
intern and Greta the accounting 
assistant use the same computer, 
she would be able to search on fi- 
nancial documents, but he would 
be blocked from seeing them as 
part of his search results. 

Administrators are also able to 
create search tabs for their Desktop 
Search For Enterprise applications. 
These tabs appear at the top of a 
search page and include locations 
to search, such as Web, Images, 
Groups, Local, and Desktop. If an ad- 
ministrator notices a large number of 
searches that lead users to the intranet, 
for instance, she may want to add a 
search tab that relates specifically to 
that area of the network, so users can 
choose to search only the intranet, and 
not hard drives and chat transcripts, by 
first clicking that tab and then entering 
their search term. 

The search application can also be 
integrated with one of Google's search 
appliances (see sidebar) and provide 
the same level of security, but with a 
broader swath of search results that 
can access more of the network. 



Support Service 

Although Desktop For Enterprise is 
free to download, there is a premium 



Go^cle 

Desktop Search 4^_J 






Search Desktop Search the Web 

Search your own computer. 



One-time index update in progress. 

98% comt-' -;- j ■ . . ■[ 0.1 idle hours left 
71,14'. . "io far. 

Indexine ./our' mputeris idle 

T ii i 1 1 i i I i i > ition i 'pen. 

Privacy - Index Status - About 



Google lets you know how much of the hard drive has been 
indexed and how many files are included in the process. 




The Desktop Search For Enterprise tool comes with an 
extensive administrator's guide that goes into great 
detail on security, access, and setting information. 



support package available for $20,000 
per year for an unlimited number of 
users. Google notes that many com- 
panies sign up for the support service 
so employees can get immediate help, 
without having to put in a request for 
assistance from the IT department or 
struggle through Google adminis- 
trator documentation on their own. 

With premium support, companies 
are guaranteed quick response from 
Google Desktop Search experts, as 
well as access to a support site specifi- 
cally geared toward the enterprise edi- 
tion. The support site can be useful 
for IT managers as well as users, since 
it provides in-depth technical detail 
that helps users tweak the software 
and make the most of their searches. 

The premium support fee also 
grants membership to a robust user 
forum, where employees can interact 



with their counterparts at other 
companies who are also using 
Google's desktop search tools. 

For IT the support package is 
handy as well because you're no- 
tified about new Desktop Search 
releases, which lets the IT depart- 
ment test versions before de- 
ploying them companywide. 

Looking Ahead 

In terms of where Google is 
going with its Desktop Search For 
Enterprise, the company points 
to a major update to its private 
user software, now called Google 
Desktop 2, which was revamped 
in August. 

The update is geared toward 
making Desktop easier to use and 
to make it possible for users to get 
information without searching. 
The company compares it to a 
personal Web assistant that learns 
about your habits and interests 
and then presents Web pages, 
news stories, and photos it thinks 
you'll be interested in. 

The results come up in a small 
box called the Sidebar on the 
user's Desktop, arranged by cate- 
gory. For example, email alerts from 
personal contacts are in one section, 
while news headlines have their own 
section, and Web video clips can be 
accessed from another section. 

The Desktop 2 refreshed features 
aren't yet available in the enterprise 
edition, but Google notes that glancing 
through the tweaks in Desktop 2 will 
give users a good idea of where the en- 
terprise edition is headed. 

As employees create more docu- 
ments, their hard drives filling up with 
presentations, spreadsheets, emails, 
and company news, the ability to 
search through all the data will be- 
come increasingly important, making 
Google Desktop Search For Enterprise 
a valuable way to pick relevant needles 
out of very large haystacks. H 

by Elizabeth Millard 



138 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



Delve Deep 
With Urchin 

Analyze Your Web Traffic For Fun & Profit 



Google's use of tar- 
geted advertising 
helped turn the 
millions of daily 
Google visitors into bil- 
lions of dollars. If Google's 
omnipresence isn't proof 
enough of its success, con- 
sider that Microsoft's CEO, 
Steve Ballmer, recently 
said his company only 
needed $29 billion in ad- 
vertising and possibly "a 
few years" to beat Google 
in the search engine mar- 
ket. With the acquisition of 
the Urchin Software Cor- 
poration, Google is out to help 
businesses target their advertising 
and optimize their Web content. 
Whether your Web site's goal is to at- 
tract customers or provide informa- 
tion, Urchin can take the anonymity 
out of your Web site's traffic. 

Before Google 

Google agreed to acquire Urchin 
Software Corporation in March of 
this year, but dozens of high-profile 
companies were already using Ur- 
chin's Web site reporting technology, 
such as British Telecom, Paramount, 
Symantec, and NBC. Even the U.S. 
House of Representatives was using 
Urchin to gauge traffic on www.house 
.gov and other associated government 
pages. Not much has changed since 
Google's acquisition. Urchin still of- 
fers its Web site analysis tools as both 
a service that companies can sub- 
scribe to and as a downloadable soft- 
ware package. 




Build A Better Web Site 

If you've spent any time scouring 
the Web for specific information or a 
product you're not sure exists, then 
you've no doubt seen your share of 
poorly- designed Web pages that were 
frustrating to navigate. Web sites 
don't have a built-in mechanism for 
reporting how easy it is for users to 
find the information they're looking 
for. Rather than relying on the intu- 
ition of a Web designer or marketing 
professional, companies like Urchin 
offer Web site analytics software and 
services that can help a company de- 
termine the effectiveness of a Web site 
or advertising campaign. 

Analytics software and services offer 
advertisers and Web site owners a 
detailed record and interpretation 
of every visitor's experience while 
browsing a company's Web page. The 



company can use this information to 
improve the customer's Web browsing 
experience. For instance, if the Web 
analysis software reports that 90% of a 
given Web page's visitors are leaving 
before ever seeing a single product, 
then the company might consider in- 
troducing a few of the more popular 
products on the home page. This is 
just one of the many ways in which 
companies can make sure they get the 
most for their advertising dollars. 

Urchin 6 On Demand 

The primary goal of any 
company that has a retail 
presence on the Internet is 
to attract visitors to the site 
and convert those visitors 
into customers. Urchin's 
On Demand service, the 
latest version of Urchin's 
Web analytics offering, 
provides more than 80 re- 
ports encompassing ecom- 
merce development, visitor 
tracking, marketing campaign 
results, search engine mar- 
keting, and navigational analysis. 
Companies can use Urchin 6 On 
Demand's reports to track their cus- 
tomers and visitors from the moment 
they are directed to the site (via search 
engines, links, banner ads, keywords, 
and emails) to the moment they leave. 
Who's who. Urchin 6 On Demand 
features more than 13 visitor tracking 
reports that can help you learn more 
about your customers. The service 
compiles data about the behaviors of 
your site's visitors and then rates 
those visitors. The best visitors are 
the ones that become recurring cus- 
tomers. By revealing the habits of 
these visitors, you can tailor your site 
to attract more of them and ulti- 
mately increase revenue. 

Urchin records and reports the visi- 
tors' click paths so that you can deter- 
mine which links are the most effective 
and which ones don't generate a lot of 
traffic. You can also use Urchin's ser- 
vice to segment your visitors. If your 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 139 



The Business End 



Web site asks visitors to supply data 
such as job title, age, or any other per- 
sonal information, the software can 
calculate which types of visitors be- 
come your best customers. Urchin can 
track your visitors' activities based on 
their language, browser, and connec- 
tion speed. These visitor tracking fea- 
tures can also help a company develop 
a marketing strategy that aims to target 
a specific type of Web user. 

Progress report. Urchin 6 On 
Demand includes reports that keep 
track of your paid, organic (unpaid), 
and keyword search results. Based on 
your advertising budget, this feature 
can report on several items, such as 
ROI (return on investment), cost per 
click, and revenue per click. Since 
Google's acquisition, Urchin has 
added the ability to import pay-per- 
click costs directly from Google's 
AdWords accounts. You can also com- 
pare your results within customizable 
date ranges to learn how a new mar- 
keting or design strategy is working. 

For many online businesses, Web 
sites serve as the only way that cus- 
tomers can access their products or ser- 
vices. Urchin 6 On Demand features a 
host of reports that can rate various el- 
ements of your site. For instance, you 
can determine how well your landing 
page (or home page) directs visitors to 
your products. Urchin also details the 
number of times a visitor reaches your 
landing page and then leaves without 
viewing any other pages. This "bounce 
rate" can help you find the weak links 
in your Web presence, so you can ad- 
dress the problem. 

Take a spin. When you sign up for 
Urchin 6 On Demand, all you need to 
do is register a new account from 
the Web site and then follow the in- 
structions to insert the UTM (Urchin 
Tracking Module) at the top of every 
HTML (Hypertext Markup Lan- 
guage, a kind of computer language 
that tells a Web browser how to dis- 
play Web pages) page on your site. 

You simply copy the Utm.js file to 

the main directory of your Web site 
and then insert a line of HTML code 



near the head of each of your site's 
pages. Once you've finished updating 
your pages, you're ready to view 
Urchin 6 On Demand's reports. 

As we went to press, Urchin was of- 
fering a free 30-day trial of Urchin 6 
On Demand. In May Google an- 
nounced that it was slashing the On 
Demand pricing from $495 per month 
to $199 per month for up to 100,000 
page views (viewable report screens). 
You can also purchase additional page 
views at $99 per million. 

Urchin 5 Profit Suite 

Urchin offers several of its re- 
porting tools for download as sepa- 
rate modules; however, the Urchin 5 
Profit Suite combines three of the 
most popular modules and offers 
them for a one-time fee of $4,995. 
The Urchin 5 Profit Suite consists of 
the Urchin Base Module, the E- 
Commerce Module, and the Cam- 
paign Tracking Module. 

The Urchin 5 Profit Suite provides 
customers with more than simple 
"counters" that log each new IP 
(Internet Protocol) address (a unique 
computer address for a PC connected 
to the Internet) as it accesses your site. 
Urchin's Base Module reports visitor, 
session, and page view counts, as well 



as each unique visitor, the visitor's click 
paths, first- time visitors, returning visi- 
tors, and frequently returning visitors, 
similarly to Urchin 6 On Demand. 

Urchin developed the E- Commerce 
Module with online businesses in 
mind. This module analyzes your 
ecommerce site's revenues both by 
product and by quantity. You can also 
see what percentage of your total rev- 
enue is coming from customers re- 
ferred to your site by specific search 
terms and domains. The E- Commerce 
Module lets you tailor your site to all 
the right markets by revealing where 
your customers are coming from, by 
country, state, and city. A few of the E- 
Commerce Module's reports include 
revenue by region, ecommerce sum- 
mary, and revenue by search engines. 

Any successful business knows that 
the best customers come from adver- 
tising that is tailored to attract specific 
buyers. The Campaign Tracking 
Module is Urchin's tool for deter- 
mining the effectiveness of your mar- 
keting plan. If you use keywords, 
banner ads, and email campaigns to 
get the word out about your prod- 
uct or service, Urchin's Campaign 
Tracking Module can reveal the 
strategies that work, so you can elimi- 
nate those that don't. Use the soft- 
ware to set traffic goals and then 



A Urchin 

Deep Analytics. Dive In, 




Urchin Web Analytics v6. 3,05 \ Q20S5 Urchin Software Corpcrsticn 



You can access your Urchin account from any computer connected to the Internet. 



140 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



check to see how often your goals are 
being met. Urchin's Campaign 
Tracking Module can also help you 
identify and prevent click fraud — 
scams that artificially inflate the click 
rates of pay- per- click advertisements. 
Both Urchin 6 On Demand and the 
Urchin 5 Profit Suite are compatible 
with multiple operating systems, in- 
cluding Windows 2000/2003/NT/XP, 
Mac OS X, UNIX/Linux, and Cobalt. 
You can also export Urchin's charts, 
graphs, and spreadsheets into Word, 
Excel, and XML documents. 

A Second Opinion 

Urchin isn't the only Web analytics 
vendor out there. Google has its fingers 
in a lot of pies, but for a taste of some- 
thing decidedly not Google, check out 
these companies and their offerings. 

ClickTracks. ClickTracks (www 
.clicktracks.com) offers its analytics 
software in three tiers: ClickTracks 
Analyzer, ClickTracks Optimizer, and 
ClickTracks Pro. ClickTracks mainly 
focuses on selling software for a one- 
time fee; however, you can pay $49 a 
month to get ClickTracks Analyzer 
Hosted. Unlike Urchin, you'll need to 
download the ClickTracks Viewer to 
the computer's Desktop in order to 
view the hosted reports. 

Similar to Urchin's offerings, Click- 
Tracks Analyzer categorizes visitors to 
your site based on various factors, such 
as the keyword they used to find your 
site, the amount of time they spent on 
your site, and from which page they 
exit. Urchin's reports can show you 
your visitors' click paths. However, the 
ClickTracks Analyzer features Naviga- 
tion Report movies, which let you see 
exactly how the visitors navigated your 
site. The ClickTracks Optimizer takes 
the features included in the Analyzer 
application and adds Robot Reports, 
integrated email tracking, extra user li- 
censes, and the ability to track custom 
advertising campaigns. ClickTracks 
Pro includes the features of the 
Analyzer and Optimizer applications, 
but adds the Custom ROI (return on 



investment) Analysis, a 
Campaign Manager 
tool, Revenue Focus re- 
ports, and also search 
engine reports. 

You can purchase a 
ClickTracks Analyzer 
single user license for 
$495, while a three-user 
license for ClickTracks 
Optimizer costs $1,195. 
The ClickTracks Pro 
single server license starts 
at $2,995. 

Metasun. Metasun 
(www.metasun.com) is 
a Web analysis software 
package that lets you ac- 
cess your statistics and 
reports from any com- 
puter connected to the Internet. The 
application can track the same types 
of content that Urchin tracks, in- 
cluding Web pages, file downloads, 
and multimedia files. Like Urchin, 
Metasun's reports can help you deter- 
mine which advertising campaigns, 
specific links, or site revisions are de- 
livering sales, subscriptions, registra- 
tions, and return visits. Metasun also 
lets you categorize your visitors into 
user- definable demographics, which 
can help you get the most out of your 
advertising budget. 

Metasun's Web site lets you down- 
load MetaTraffic Lite 2.11, which is a 
30-day trial version that features sup- 
port for tracking Web pages, down- 
loads, and multimedia files, as well as 
MS Access, SQL Server, and MySQL 
database support. MetaTraffic Lite also 
includes secure multiple-user access 
to the report generator, CSV format 
export, print preview of reports, 
graphing, and full Web-based configu- 
ration. You'll need to upgrade to 
MetaTraffic Pro in order to get ad cam- 
paign tracking, Web site action track- 
ing, drill down reporting, and free 
email support. According to the license 
agreement, any commercial site that 
chooses to use MetaTraffic Lite must 
register it after the 30-day trial has ex- 
pired. A MetaTraffic Pro 2.1 license for 



► Key Performance Summaries 

? Marketing Optimisation 

H Unique Visitor Tracking 

Daily Visitors 

Visits & Pageuiew Tracking 

Goal Conversion Tracking 

Absolute Unique Visitors 

Visitor Loyalty 

Visitor Recency 
Ei Visitor Segment Performance 

New us Returning 

Referring Source 

Geo Location 

Geo Map Overlay 

Network Location 

Language 

User-defined 
'■-■. Marketing Campaign Results 



Source Conversion 
Medium Conversion 
Referral Conversion 
Campaign ROI 
Source ROI 
Medium ROI 
H Search Engine Marketing 
CPC Program Analysis 
Overall Keyword Conve 
CPC us Organic Conuet 
Keyword Suggestions 
Day Parts Breakdown 
Click Fraud Watch 

►■ Content Optimization 
► E-Commerce Analysis 



Urchin provides dozens 
of Marketing 
Optimization reports. 



one Web site costs $50, 
and a five Web site li- 
cense costs $125. 

OneStat.com. Ur- 
chin's software takes a 
modular approach, so 
businesses can purchase 
the features they need. 
OneStat offers software 
based specifically on the 
size of the business. 
From www.onestat.com, 
you can access free trials 
and demos of each of 
OneStat's offerings. 
OneStat Enterprise 
and Platinum are designed for me- 
dium-sized to large organizations and 
cost $3,400 per year and $1,870 per 
year, respectively. OneStat eBusiness, 
Premium, and Pro are all aimed at 
small to medium-sized businesses and 
start at $560, $275, $125, respectively. 
OneStat AdWorks, like Urchin's prod- 
ucts, lets you track your online adver- 
tising campaigns, sales, and visitor 
activity for your Web site. Both Urchin 
and OneStat's products deliver reports 
on other traffic sources, including 
search engines, banner advertisements, 
text links, email campaigns, and affil- 
iate campaigns. OneStat offers a four- 
week trial of AdWorks, after which 
you'll have to pay $467 per year. 

OneStat differs from Urchin in that 
it offers some services for free. OneStat 
Basic is a free Web site counter that re- 
ports who and how many people visit 
your site, where the visitors came from, 
which pages they looked at, and what 
type of information they seem inter- 
ested in. OneStat Basic also reports the 
times of the day, days of the week, and 
months of the year when your site's 
visitors are the most active. You can 
download OneStat Basic by visiting 
www.onestat.com/aspx/signup.aspx 
and clicking Sign Up Immediately. H 

by Andrew Leibman 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 141 



The Business End 



Beyond 
Classified Ads 

Google Ad Professionals 




'■■■■■% 






By the time Google (www 
.google.com) arrived on the 
Internet search landscape, 
major players such as Ya- 
hoo! and AltaVista had already built 
strong positions in the Internet search 
arena. More than a few people cast a 
ho-hum glance toward "just another 
search engine." That didn't last long, 
of course, as Google roared quickly to 
a dominant position that has thus far 
beautifully endured. The robust and 
relevant results produced in Google 
searches were (and are) a key factor in 
its success, but there is another 
Google element that has always 
played an important role. 

While other search engines pep- 
pered users with advertising, ranging 



from subtle to intrusive, Google re- 
fused to join the pack. From Day 
One, the Google interface has been a 
thing of simple beauty: clean and airy 
screens decorated only by the colorful 
company logo. No banners. No pop- 
ups. No multimedia presentations 
that fly in and dominate the field of 
view. Just a straightforward search in- 
terface that generates arguably the 
best results on the Internet. 

Google is, however, a business that 
must sell something in order to sur- 
vive. Enter AdWords, an advertising 
program that advertisers can manage 
themselves or have managed for them. 
The latter is available through the 
Google Advertising Professionals 
program, the focus of this article. 



AdWords are highly targeted ads that 
appear based upon the keywords and 
phrases users search for. They're text- 
only, reflecting Google's ongoing com- 
mitment not to invade their users' 
workspace with obtrusive advertising. 
Appearing on the top and/or right side 
of the search results page, the sections 
that display AdWords advertisements 
are always clearly identified as 
"Sponsored Links." 

As noted, these advertisements are 
designed to reach searchers who are 
more likely to have an interest in the 
product being advertised. A user who 
searches for hair brush, for example, 
will see AdWords advertisements that 
are relevant. Such narrow targeting re- 
sults in marketing campaigns that are 
far more effective than the "shotgun" 
approach of blanketing the 
Internet with ads without re- 
gard to demographics, and the 
advertiser only pays when someone 
actually clicks the ad. That's the good 
news. The bad news is that creating an 
AdWords campaign that works in a 
cost effective manner isn't always as 
simple as plugging in a list of keywords 
and hoping for the best. Sometimes 
help is needed, help from professionals 
who understand the complexities of 
reaching and motivating today's more- 
sawy- than- ever online audience. 

Pros To The Rescue 

In November 2004 Google an- 
nounced the inception of its Google 
Advertising Professionals program 
(www.adwords.google.com/select/Pro 
fessionalWelcome), opening up a new 
world of assistance to advertisers who 
aren't comfortable managing their 
own campaigns. 

Not every advertiser needs a Google 
Ad Pro; many advertisers handle their 
own AdWords accounts. To under- 
stand the challenge, we'll look at the 
process of setting up a Google Ad- 
Words campaign. 

The first screen in setting up an 
AdWords campaign requires choos- 
ing a geographic target, which can be 



142 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



anything from a certain city to mul- 
tiple countries. 

Moving forward, AdWords users 
must choose appropriate keywords. 
The ad will display when these key- 
words or phrases are a part of a user's 
search. This looks simple enough 
on its face. However, choosing the 
best keywords for marketing efforts 
involving more complex products 
and multiple products can be much 
more difficult. 

The deeper we move into the 
process of designing a cam- 
paign, the more complex the 
options. AdWords is a PPC 
program (pay-per-click: an ad- 
vertising model in which adver- 
tisers only pay when a user 
clicks the ad's link to their site). 
PPC advertising is a dynamic, 
rapidly changing marketplace, 
and the settings entered here 
can literally make or break a 
campaign. For example, two 
important parameters in the 
AdWords program are CPC and 
CTR. CPC stands for cost-per- 
click; an advertiser can specify 
the amount he is willing to pay 
for each click-through to the site, 
although he must pay at least 5 cents. 
CTR, or click-through rate, is the per- 
centage of ad views that generate a 
click-through. In the AdWords model, 
advertisers who are willing to pay more 
for each click-through will receive 
more views and better placement on 
the Google search results page. So, a 
CPC that is set too low may not gen- 
erate a sufficient CTR to be a viable 
campaign. Conversely, an excessive 
maximum CPC setting may generate a 
high CTR, but the higher costs may 
render the campaign ineffective. If a 
user doesn't understand this process or 
if a user already has a campaign up and 
running that isn't generating the ex- 
pected results, it may be time to bring 
in reinforcements. 

Google has done a nice job of setting 
up an interface that's easy to under- 
stand and easy to use, but the sim- 
plicity is, in some cases, only skin-deep, 



concealing an underlying complexity. 
Setting the maximum CPC too high or 
too low can result in such a poor ROI 
(return on investment) that the adver- 
siting campaign isn't viable. By con- 
trast, hitting that perfect combination 
of figures can dramatically increase an 
advertisement's response rate and the 
subsequent profitability of the cam- 
paign. How is this perfect combination 
defined? Short answer: There is no 
short answer. Different products re- 
quire different approaches, and these 



Google 



Web Images Groups News Froogle Local Desktop more » 

Advanced Search 

Preferences 

Language Tools 



| Google Search | I'm Feeling Lucky | 



Information about Hurricane Katrina 



Advertising Programs - Business Solutions - About Google 

©2005 Google - Searching 8.168,684,336 web pages 



This is the interface that Google has ridden to 
success thus far. Its search technology is crucial, but 
the sparse design of this home page has also created 
many a loyal fan for the company. 



approaches may be best understood by 
someone who understands the intrica- 
cies of online marketing. 

Google Ad Pros fills essentially 
the same role as conventional adver- 
tising agents and consultants who 
help their clients craft effective mar- 
keting campaigns across a variety of 
non-Internet media. In fact, many 
Google Ad Pros do indeed offer com- 
plete campaign management for 
their clients, encompassing both 
online and offline media. Some are 
seasoned consultants, with years of 
experiencing directing marketing ef- 
forts. Others are relative newcomers 
looking to make a name as a mar- 
keting professional. 

Straight From The Source 

To get a better feel for the program 
and what these consultants have to 



offer, we spoke with Andreas Ramos 
of Creative Consultants Group, a 
marketing consulting firm based in 
Palo Alto, Calif. When Google an- 
nounced the Ad Pros program in 
November 2004, Ramos was one of 
the first hundred people to earn 
Google's designation of Qualified 
Advertising Professional, a quasi-cer- 
tification. This designation requires 
the consultant, among other things, 
to pass a test that demonstrates a 
commanding understanding of the 
Google AdWords process. 

According to Ramos, even 
though the Ad Pros program is 
fairly new, it's already a major 
part of the service package his 
firm offers to clients. He at- 
tributes a great part of his suc- 
cess as a Google Ad Pro to the 
fact that he has earned the 
"Qualified" designation. 

"It's a great credential," 
Ramos said. "We've gotten 
quite a few clients because of 
that. On the Web anyone can 
claim whatever they want, and 
it's nearly impossible to know if 
someone really understands 
Google AdWords. With Google's 
certification clients know that I under- 
stand the tools." 

When we asked him to tell us why a 
client should use a service like his as 
opposed to going it alone, he said, 
"Because PPC is extremely complex. . 
. . We've worked with so many com- 
panies, from one-person shops all the 
way to billion- dollar corps, in many 
markets. . . . We learned what doesn't 
work and what works." 

Ramos also talked about the ac- 
cess he enjoys as a successful Ad Pro 
and how that access enables him to 
better serve his clients. For example, 
if an individual client running a 
single AdWords account encounters 
some difficulty with his campaign, it 
can take days or perhaps even weeks 
to resolve the situation. This is not a 
negative comment on Google. In a 
perfect world, a company's smallest 
customer would enjoy the same level 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 143 



The Business End 



of service as its largest, but we don't 
live in a perfect world, and we surely 
don't operate in a perfect business 
world. Companies are usually forced 
by practicality to deal with larger 
customers first. 

"We have high-level account reps 
that service only large accounts, so we 
can get things fixed right away," said 
Ramos. "We hear about tools, so we 
can suggest appropriate technologies 
to clients, and we know that the tools 
will work, thus preventing expensive 
and time-consuming experimenting." 

Meritocracy In Action 

In many ways the Internet has 
played the role of equalizer, and this 
program could certainly be consid- 
ered an example. Advertising con- 
sultants who may not have the 
experience of Ramos can enter the 
program, work hard, and earn the 
"Qualified" label. The steps to the 
"Qualified" level are: 



; performed using 


'•■■•■ ; 1 uandNMAP, 








Thisreportgivesdetaiisonho 




at W ere found. Piease foiio™ the recommended stepsand 




Hosts which where alive and r 






Number of security holes found 


6 


.. 




1 15 








Host(s) 




Possible Issue 


151,108.232,190 




Security hole(s) found 


[return to top] 










Analysis of Host 


Address of Host 


Port/Service 


Issue regarding Port 


iti i:;.::: lv: 


smtp (25/tcp) 


ning(s) found 


151,108,232,190 


http (80/tcp) 


Security hole found 


151,108.232,190 


lcc-srv(135/tcp) 


rning(s) found 


151,108.232,190 


n(139/tcp) 


Security hole found 


151,108.232,190 


https(443/tcp) 


"■• ■ :■ lotes found 


151,108.232,190 


, . ; ' ~ ; 


:■■ otes found 



consultant demonstrate a level of 
competency to potential clients. 

The Process 

The actual ad campaign manage- 
ment process is handled in Google's 
typically straightforward fashion. Once 
an advertiser and an Ad Pro reach 
agreement on how the account(s) will 
be managed, the advertiser furnishes 
the Ad Pro with the login credentials 
necessary to access the advertiser's ac- 
count, if an AdWords account already 
exists for that advertiser. If an adver- 
tiser is brand new to the AdWords 
program, he or she may want the Ad 
Pro to handle everything, including 
initial setup of the account. 

The Ad Pro can link all his advertiser 
clients under a single master username, 
which lets the Ad Pro log in once and 
have access to the accounts for all his 
clients. Each client also retains access to 
his individual accounts through his 
own original login credentials. 

Using this linked set of 
client accounts, the Ad 
Pro can move easily be- 
tween clients, configuring 
every aspect of the vari- 
ous AdWords campaigns, 
from defining keywords, 
to setting up the ideal CPC 
parameters, to reports that 
gauge the performance of 
each campaign across a 
broad array of metrics. 



AdWords advertisements appear at the top and/or 
right side of the Google search results page. The 
Sponsored Links tags distinguish the ads from 
standard nonpaid search results. 



Money Matters 



• Manage at least one AdWords ac- 
count for 90 days. 

• Spend at least $1,000 total across all 
managed accounts. 

• Pass the Google Advertising 
Professional Examination. 

Achieving this status will not 
guarantee success as an advertising 
consultant, of course, but it lets a 



Ad Pros offer different rates 
and different ways of calcu- 
lating those rates. Some work 
by the hour. Some, like Ramos, work 
on a percentage of the amount of ad- 
vertising bought. The key thing to re- 
member is that Google has no position 
in this element. All such agreements 
are negotiated completely between an 
Ad Pro and his clients. Google makes 
no recommendations and offers no 
standards as to what the Ad Pros 
should charge. The advertiser should 



always do his homework before en- 
tering into a contract with an Ad Pro, 
and certainly before paying an Ad Pro. 
For example, can the Ad Pro provide 
past clients as references? If the Ad Pro 
is new, are they offering something else 
that increases the value of her services, 
such as introductory rates? In any 
event, the advertiser needs to clearly 
understand what he's paying for. 

Google sells its own AdWords 
product, and payment for the ads takes 
place directly between the advertiser 
and Google. But Google does not serve 
in a collection capacity at all for Ad 
Pros. It will be incumbent upon each 
Ad Pro to set up a mechanism to re- 
ceive payment from their clients. 

Bottom Line 

Marketing, whether through Ad- 
Words or any other media, is an essen- 
tial component of any business. An 
exciting aspect of PPC advertising 
through providers such as Google is the 
fact that it is so flexible, pliant enough 
that almost any size business can par- 
take. Google, Yahoo!, and other 21 st - 
century media outlets offer a way for 
the tiniest business to target their ideal 
customers, and to do so on a national, 
or even global, level. The Ad Pros pro- 
gram extends this access by letting ad- 
vertisers enlist help in crafting more 
effective online marketing campaigns. 

"For nearly every client," Ramos 
says, "Google AdWords produces 
better results than other PPC services. 
But we've found that for a few clients, 
Yahoo! PPC works better. The only 
way to know is to test both services 
and go with the one that works better." 

For many businesses, the Google Ad 
Professionals program can enhance 
their online opportunities. And as is 
often the case, those opportunities run 
in both directions. Advertising consul- 
tants may find that the program offers 
a perfect opportunity for them to ex- 
pand an existing business or to create a 
new one from scratch. Qjs] 

by Jerry Hatchett 



144 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



gle Hacking 

How Hackers Use Google 



iii 



To Invade Web Sites 




Everyone knows that Google 
can find practically anything 
on the Internet. Google can 
help you find the best Carib- 
bean restaurants in your neighbor- 
hood or Web sites that sell antique car 
accessories, but in the skilled hands of 
a hacker, Google can also find Web 
sites that contain easily exploitable 
flaws, sensitive files that system ad- 
ministrators may not want revealed to 
the public, and even password and ac- 
count information to all users on a 
particular system. Google can not 
only search the Internet, but it can 
also pry it apart. 

Casing A Web Site 

The key to breaking into any com- 
puter is to learn what type of software 
a target computer runs. It's possible 
to obtain this information by con- 
necting directly to a target computer 
and running one of many hacker 
programs that probe a computer's 
perimeter, much like a burglar 



peeking through the windows of a 
house that he plans to break into. It 
may work, but connecting directly to 
a computer risks alerting a target 
computer that it's being cased and 
also leaves a potential trail that could 
lead back to the hacker. 

So rather than take this risk, hackers 
simply let Google find this information 
for them. Not only does this keep the 
hacker's identity hidden, but it also 
prevents the target from knowing it's 
being probed by a hacker. 

The key to finding out the type of 
software running on a Web site is to 
examine its directory listing, which 
reveals both the way the Web site or- 
ganizes its files and the name of the 
Web server software running that 
particular Web site. 

To search for Web sites that run 
specific Web server programs, search 
for the name of the software you want 
to find, such as Microsoft IIS 5.0 or 
Red Hat Server 3.0 using the fol- 
lowing query: 

intitleiindex.of (Software name) 



• intitle — searches for Web pages that 
contain a particular word in its title 

• index. of — searches for the directory 
listing of a Web site, which often 
has the title "Index of near the top 
of the page 

• (Software name) — searches for a 
particular Web server program 
name, such as Microsoft IIS 6.0 or 
Apache 2.2 

Search Specific Web Sites 

Another powerful Google searching 
tool is the site operator, which nar- 
rows your search to a specific Web 
site domain (the name of a Web site, 
such as www.smartcomputing.com) 
such as: 

site:Domain name (Search term) 

• site — searches for Web pages stored 
on specific domain sites 

• Domain name — searches Web sites 
that belong to a specific domain 
such as .edu or army.mil 

• (Search term) — searches a domain 
for a specific word or phrase 

While this can be useful to find in- 
formation on specific types of Web 
sites, such as looking for information 
about "terrorism" on all .gov Web site 
domains, the real power of the site op- 
erator appears when combined with 
the intitle operator. The combination 
of the intitle and site operators can 
search certain Web site domains run- 
ning specific Web server programs. 

So, if you know how to break into 
an Apache Web server and you want 
to know which U.S. Army Web sites 
might be running the Apache Web 
server, you could use the following 
query, which would display a listing 
as shown in Figure 1: 

siteiarmy.mil intitleiindex.of apache 

Once you know which of your tar- 
geted Web sites run specific versions 
of a Web server program (such as 
Apache 1.3), use Google once more to 
search for Apache vulnerabilities or a 
similar string to view information 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 145 



The Business End 



Google 



Web Image 

~~| [ 5 e archT| ^ 



Web 



s 1 - 10 of about 352 from army.mil for intitle:index.of apache (0.20 si 



Index of /ftp/pub/rnaps 

Apache/2.0.52 (Unix) mod_ssl/2 A6.S.5 Server 

at www. mvp-wc nil Port 80. 

.".-■/- 2k - Aug 12, 2005 - 

Index of /ftppub/SSARR program 

... 15:25 664k [ ] sarzip.z i I 998 06:55 730k [ ] ssarr_urn.pdf 01 -May-1 998 

ogram/- 2k -Aug 12, 2005- 



Index of /ftp p : uest/snake 

... 16:48- [D 

21-Oct-1998 13:34 -. Apache/1 .3.33 Server at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil Port 80. 

www. nwtt-wc. u sacs. : 2 k - Au g 1 2 , 2005 - 

. . /rogue 

... 21-Jul-2004 16:18 - [DIR] apph 2001 09:30 - [DIR] lostcreek/ 

05-Oct-2000 14:45 -. Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil Port 80. 

- 



Figure 1: By using the intitle and site keywords, you can determine if a certain Web 
site runs a particular Web server program. 



about known flaws in that particular 
Web server program. Rather than use 
Google to search for software flaws, 
you can also browse through com- 
puter security sites, such as Packet 
stormsecurity.org and CERT.org, that 
list the latest software vulnerabilities 
found in Web servers. 

Such security bulletins are meant to 
alert system administrators to flaws 
that they should patch immediately. 
However, many system administra- 
tors either never see these bulletins or 
don't implement them right away. As 
a result, many hackers use security 
bulletins to find vulnerable Web sites. 

For example, suppose you find a 
security bulletin that identifies a flaw 
in Apache and recommends that users 
upgrade to Apache version 1.3.27. 
Armed with this information, you just 
have to search for any Web site run- 
ning an earlier version of Apache. 
Once you find a Web site running a 
pre- 1.3.27 version of Apache, you'll 
know that this Web site is likely vul- 
nerable to the specific security flaw 
described in the security bulletin. In 
many cases, security bulletins can be 
just as helpful to hackers as they are to 
system administrators. 

Probing A Web Site's Defenses 

Naturally, security is a major con- 
cern for Web masters, so it's likely 
that a particular Web site will defend 
itself against hackers in some way. 



At the simplest level, system ad- 
ministrators may run a security 
scanner on their own sites to probe 
for holes. When a security scanner 
probes a system, it often creates a re- 
port for the system administrators to 
study. Naturally, many system ad- 
ministrators never delete these secu- 
rity scanner reports, so you can use 
Google to look for these files using 
the intitle operator. Once you know 
the heading that a security scanner 
always stores on its reports, you can 
use Google to search for those par- 
ticular files. 

For example, one popular security 
scanner is Nessus (www.nessus.org), 
which you can search for using the fol- 
lowing query: 

intitle:"Scanner header" 

To look for Nessus security scan- 
ner reports, the Scanner header is 
"Nessus Scan Report" such as shown 
in Figure 2: 

intitle: "Nessus Scan Report" "This 
file was generated by Nessus" 



Even if any vulnerabilities reported 
by a security scanner report have been 
closed, a security scanner report can 
help hackers understand the defenses 
of a target computer better. Because 
security scanners can't detect every 
possible exploit, they can even give 
lazy system administrators a false 
sense of security. If a knowledgeable 
hacker knows of a security flaw that a 
scanner didn't detect, the system ad- 
ministrator probably didn't detect that 
flaw either, so there's a good chance 
that the flaw can be exploited. 

Besides security scanners, many 
system administrators rely on intru- 
sion detection systems, such as the 
popular Snort (www.snort.org). To 
create reports, Snort users often can 
run a program called SnortSnarf. 

Once again, if system administrators 
don't delete the SnortSnarf files from 
their systems, Google can help hackers 
find them by simply searching for 
"SnortSnarf alert page." Not only can 
this alert hackers that a particular Web 
site is running an intrusion detection 
system, but the SnortSnarf report can 
also show the types of attacks that other 
hackers have tried (and presumably 
failed) as shown in Figure 3. 

Combine the "SnortSnarf alert 
page" query with the site operator, 
and you can search for which types of 
Web domains are running the Snort 
intrusion detection program, such as: 

site:edu snortsnarf alert page 

The above query tells Google to 
search for all educational Web sites 
(.edu) that have used the SnortSnarf 
program to create a report. 



. . , '.■:"'■ ■ ' i ;.''.' .,; .■■'■: . 



00 Server with Service Pack 2 



Nessus Scan Report 



■ '■ . ' . ■ :::■'• . . ■■ ' . ' ' ■'■■ ' . . ■ ■ ... .. :..."■.:■ 



.■■ .- -.-.•: ■ ■ •■.:•■ ■ . - . . . . :, :- 


1 


....'. .■:■ ■;' v. . ' V; ".' :S<'- . 


6 


"'..':'.. 


15 



Host(s) 

|l51, 108,232, 190 



Possible Issue 

L «:>\e(s) found 



Figure 2: By searching for a security scanner report, you can learn what holes might 
still be open on a particular Web server. 



146 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



The Business End 



Finding & Copying Files 



SILICON Snort Snarf alert page 






Sometimes hackers don't 
even need to break into a 
computer to find what they 
want. Many system adminis- 
trators store user account in- 
formation (such as names 
and passwords) in special 
database files. Naturally, these 
database files aren't accessible 
through normal Web pages, 
but such a file isn't invisible 
to Google's prying eyes. 

Lazy system administrat- 
ors often use the default set- 
tings when setting up their 
Web server's software. Hackers 
know these default settings, as 
well, which can tell a hacker 
the specific name of a file that con- 
tains user account information and 
where it's usually stored. 

To find a specific file, you need to 
know the filename and then use 
Google's allinurl search operator to 
find it. Once hackers download these 
account or password files to their own 
computers, they can happily try to 
crack them open, all within the safety 
and comfort of their own PCs. Once 
hackers find the user accounts and 
passwords they need, they can return 
to a target computer, armed with this 
information, and slip right in as a "le- 
gitimate" user. 

Sometimes hackers may not know 
the exact filename they want to find, 
but they do know the extension of the 
file they're looking for, such as a 
Word document (.DOC file exten- 
sion) or an Excel spreadsheet (.XLS 
file extension). To search for specific 
file types, hackers can use the filetype 
Google search operator. So if you 
wanted to find all Microsoft Word 
documents that contain the phrase 
"for internal use only," you could use 
this query: 

filetype:doc "for internal use only" 

Combine the filetype operator with 
the site operator, and you can search 
for all Microsoft Word documents 



Source: 133.67.109.51: overview 



■ 



.-_■•:.• 



•..'.■••■■■{:.■.:'".;.: >:,:.;:-' ". : ;;:-!: :-.: 



.■.-■'. 



Earliest: 10:58:58 on 9/3/2004 
Latest: 15:48:22 on 8/12/2005 

■■.■■■:.:■....■■■■ - .• ' . 

! ■•■■■ ■,-. ..." ' ■ " .- :'■: ■' "' ' ;.•■.■;:,':■: 



Whois lookup a 



■ ■..'■ ■■....' 






RIPE 






TEIUMF F 



Figure 3: Viewing the report files of a Web site can tell you 
in advance what types of attacks a Web site is already 
protected against. 



that contain "for internal use only" 
on military Web sites running Apache 
Web servers, with known flaws in ver- 
sions 1.3, and . . . can you see how 
dangerous Google hacking can be in 
the wrong hands? 

Guarding Against Google Hackers 

If you're a system administrator 
who wants to defend against Google 
hackers, keep any sensitive files off 
your Web server. Just because a file 
can't be accessed through your site's 
Web pages doesn't mean that a 
hacker can't find that file anyway. 
Don't think you'll be safe even if you 
just store a sensitive file on a Web 
site temporarily. 

Search engines, such as Google, 
constantly troll Web sites and store 
the files they find in temporary 
storage called the cache. Once your 
Web site's files are stored in Google's 
cache, anyone can view those files by 
using the cache operator. For ex- 
ample, if you want to view Web pages 
previously displayed on a Web site, 
just use the cache operator followed 
by the Web site address, such as: 

cachexnn.com 

The above Google query will show 
you the previously seen Web pages 



stored on the CNN.com site. 
These pages will remain in 
Google's cache until the next 
time Google refreshes its 
cache by visiting CNN.com. 

Google, like most search 
engines that regularly "crawl" 
the Internet to find Web sites 
to index, follows certain rules 
when visiting Web sites. One 
of those rules is that Web site 
administrators can create a 
special robots.txt file, which 
defines which parts of your 
Web site you don't want the 
search engine to explore and 
store in its cache. So if there 
are sensitive files that you don't 
want others to see, you can 

create a robots.txt file to tell 

Google not to search for them. (Of 
course, it's much safer not to put sen- 
sitive files on the Web server com- 
puter in the first place.) To learn 
more about how the robots.txt file 
works, visit www.robotstxt.org. 

For another alternative, you can re- 
quest that Google ignore your Web 
site altogether. While this can elimi- 
nate hackers from scanning your site, 
it also keeps legitimate users from 
finding it, too. To request that Google 
remove your site from its index, 
follow the steps listed at www. google 
.com/remove. html, which provides 
instructions for removing some or all 
of your Web site from Google's 
prying eyes. 

Finally, use Google to hack your 
own Web site and see what potential 
hackers might find. By visiting the 
GHDB (Google Hacking Database; 
johnny.ihackstuff.com), you can see 
how Google has exposed other Web 
sites, so you can (hopefully) learn not 
to fall victim to the same tricks. 

Every tool on the Internet can be 
used for good and bad, and Google is 
no exception. If you run a Web site, you 
must learn about Google hacking to 
lock down your system's defenses. Qjs] 

by Wallace Wang 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 147 



Just For Fun 



Agog About 
glewhacking 



i 



A New Google Lexicon 



It's a dark and stormy 
night in Denver, Colo., 
and Johnny Uhlenbrock 
is hunched over a key- 
board in a dusky room. A 
candle sputters and dies on the 
table beside him, but J. doesn't 
see it. He's staring at a com- 
puter screen with bloodshot 
eyes. His cracked lips mouth 
bizarre incantations: "wejack 
goggles . . . antediluvian her- 
petology . . . Longfellow 
radish." The wind outside and 
the soft whisper of fingers on 
keys are the only sounds in the 
room, until suddenly: "Dysa- 
cusis Cabbage! Got it!" Johnny 
leans back in his chair with a 
satisfied smirk. 

A Satanic spelling bee? Not 
exactly. Johnny's just Goo- 
glewhacking again. Google- 
whacking — a clever term for 
a mostly innocent pastime — 
is the art of finding two words which, 
entered into Google's search engine 
absent any quotation marks, return 
exactly one result. Why would 
anyone want to spend time this way? 
If you have to ask, you'll never know. 
Says Johnny, "I used to spend all 
summer at the country club laying 
out at the pool, polishing my tan, 
and beating off babes with a stick. 
Now that I'm inside all day, my skin 
is safe from the sun's damaging UV 
rays, and I'm improving my vocabu- 
lary to boot." The sport, he acknowl- 
edges, is a tad addictive. "Some days 
I'm so intent on Googlewhacking I 
don't leave my chair at all. Nothing 




gets me up — well, I still walk the dog, 
of course." 

Let Johnny's passion for the sport 
be a warning to you. At one time, 
Johnny believed he'd be immune to 
the siren's call of Googlewhacking's 
brand of sheer, unmitigated lexico- 
graphical tomfoolery (41 hits). After 
all, he'd never really done any etymo- 
logical skylarking (78) and never been 
interested in logographic shenanigans 
(11 hits). But Johnny and others 
quickly found their feeble defenses 
overcome by this powerful procrasti- 
nation innovation (42,000 hits — 
whoops). Take our advice: Don't try it 
at work (unless you're a journalist 



doing research for a piece, of course). 
It will certainly cost you the rest of the 
afternoon and quite possibly your job. 

The History 

Historians agree that all pointless 
human endeavor, from the Space 
Shuttle to tribal warfare, was first con- 
ceived by a guy either 1) trying to get 
out of some kind of writing assignment 
or 2) dateless and alone on a Friday 
evening. Most scholars attribute 
Googlewhacking to category one, 
though history has lost track of the very 
first person to throw two oddball 
words into a search engine and look for 
a single result. We can reasonably date 
the phenomenon to sometime in the 
neighborhood of Tue, 08 Jan 2002 
22:37:34 GMT, when an ex-cryptog- 
raphy expert from the National 
Security Agency named Gary Stock 
(now of Nexcerpt) first coined the fa- 
mous phrase after hearing about the 
challenge from an Internet buddy. The 
name was inspired, says Gary, by the 
notion of "bushwhacking" around a 
search engine, or perhaps "whacking 
away" at results until a single one is left. 

Such a deadly combination of in- 
sipid amusement and catchy moniker 
was bound to spread like wildfire. In 
the years since that fateful day, Gary 
has been honored by Google with a sig- 
nature on a huge banner adorning the 
wall at the Googleplex, lionized in news 
stories across the nation, blessed with 
tremendous personal whacking success 
("I can always find a whack in less than 
a minute," he claims), and besieged by 
hordes of aspiring whackers eager to 
drink from his fount of wisdom. All the 
while, Gary has faithfully collected and 
certified true whacks in his online 
Whack Stack at www.googlewhack 
.com, which in July 2005 celebrated its 
500,000th official whack to great fan- 
fare. Gary acknowledges his role as 
teacher and guide in the early stages of 
the movement but refuses to hog all the 
credit, noting that "Many people — my- 
self included — have done such searches 
for years. It's a natural thing for 



148 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



curious people to do." We should 
point out that Gary is also credited 
with a little game he calls "unblinking" 
(see www.unblinking.com), in which 
the object is to click through a convo- 
luted chain of hyperlinks until you 
reach a page with no links on it at all — 
the edge of the Internet. Between un- 
blinking and googlewhacking, it seems 
clear that Gary's ideas are responsible 
for billions of dollars of lost American 
productivity and that he should prob- 
ably be prosecuted by the SEC, or at 
least required to teach Googlewhacking 
to the Chinese so that we can catch up. 

Google's official reaction to Goo- 
glewhacking has mostly consisted of 
inviting Gary to lunch. In fact, 
Google recognizes that the relation- 
ship is symbiotic: The whackers get 
the have their fun, and Google finds 
out sooner about bugs in its search 
engine software. It was whackers 
who called attention, for instance, to 
the famous "girl cleaner" glitch of 
October 2003 — where for a few 
tense hours the phrase "girl cleaner" 
was a googlewhack, and the other 
499,999 or so Web pages that actu- 
ally contain both words were myste- 
riously absent from the list of 
results. Whackers also played a cru- 
cial role in pointing out the "Essless" 
crisis of February to March 2005, 
when for a solid week Google re- 
fused to link to Answers.com any 
word ending in the letter "s." 

If the venerable Gary Stock is 
Googlewhacking's King Arthur, then 
British comedian Dave "Bamboozled 
Panfish" Gorman is its Lancelot. 
Gorman, already of some renown for 
his comic book recounting a globetrot- 
ting pursuit of 54 guys named Dave 
Gorman, married his wanderlust with a 
passing Google-whacking interest by 
tracking down large numbers of 
whacks (a Googlewhack, noun, refers 
to both a successful word pair and the 
proprietor of a Web site returned by a 
successful word pair) across three con- 
tinents. His odyssey is now packaged as 
both a charming book ("Dave 
Gorman's Google- whack Adventure") 



and an award-winning one-man 
stage show in the United States and 
Europe. Between the book and the 
stage act, Gorman has done more 
than any other man to publicize 
the googlewhacking phenomenon, 
and as such belongs right up there 
with Gary Stock on the SEC's Most 
Wanted list. Talk to Gorman, and 
he'll probably protest that he's nei- 
ther hero nor villain, that he stum- 
bled into a Googlewhack adventure 
quite by accident, that in fact he 
"doesn't love Googlewhacking and 
never did." But volition aside, 
Gorman is clearly Googlewhack- 
ing's greatest prophet. The pointless 
meandering that Goo-glewhacking 
inspires, says Gorman, "... is what 
the Internet is really for. I love 
quirky home pages. I love boring 
home pages. I love the Internet, and the 
smaller it makes the world seem, the 
more I love it." 

These are two of Googlewhacking's 
greats, but the real force behind 
Googlewhacking is a cast of thou- 
sands of uncelebrated, unwashed 
small-time Googlewhackers all across 
America. You can find them in shan- 
tytowns or skyscrapers, in bus 
stations or bungalows — anywhere 
modems ring, Googlewhackers are 
there. You say you want to join their 
teeming horde? Read on . . . 

The Rules 

Many folks have different spins on 
the game, but the standard set of rules 
is Gary's at www.googlewhack.com. 

Rule 1: No quote marks allowed. 
(Quote marks around your query will 
return an exact phrase and thus 
shrink your results list dramatically.) 

Rule 2: The two words must ap- 
pear in the Answers.com dictionary. 
If they are, they'll be underlined in 
blue (hyperlinked) on the right side 
of the search bar when you perform 
your search. (These underlines used 
to link to dictionary.com, so the rules 
have been modified to accommodate 
this change.) 



i;-: : •' y ■ ..■■■■:■■ . J 

■^Back - -> - J) _j ^} ^Search 



gj-Media | |V <g Eg ~ 



■■'■■:'■■ 



^_,^ Web 

V-jOOQlC |bamboozled panfish ~ Search 



Web 



tor bamboozled panfish fD.33 si 



- 

bamboozled panfish allig igdong Ian/as. ... 



f'-_v , ; ; i . . :: •:.'. . ■ ■ 

.... ... .... .. ...... ., , ,, .... . .... , . . ... .. .... .... . . ........ ; 

Wvw.theatte - - i ul- re j rn ie _de ail 
13k - Supplemental Result - Lac-iec - S nilar pages 



ai 



J 



| 1 9 Internet 



J 



"Bamboozled panfish/' an alleged historical 
whack, has been corrupted by excessive 
publicity. More importantly, the absence of 
"panfish" from Answers.com (no blue 
underline) disqualifies this whack. 

Rule 3: Google must return "Re- 
sults 1-1 of about X", where X can be 
as large as you want. (This phenom- 
enon occurs when multiple subpages 
on the same site duplicate the same 
information.) There is some debate 
on this point, as you might expect, 
with the ultra-orthodox camp es- 
chewing any whack but the most 
pure — that is, a "Results 1-1 of 1" 
hit — but for beginners, at least, mul- 
tiple subpages are okay. 

Rule 4: A Googlewhack that returns 
a wordlist doesn't count. In bygone 
times Google only indexed the top 
101KB of data for any given Web 
page, cutting off most of any wordlists 
that were floating around. When that 
cap was removed, rants against 
"wordlist contamination" became a 
staple of both Googlewhacking fo- 
rums and Gary's inbox. Says Gary, 
"regular whackers come to know (and 
hate) specific wordlists, giving them 
nicknames and frequent curses." 
Hopefully, as wordlists are considered 
a nuisance by the wider search engine 
community, Google may take steps to 
address the problem. 

Rule 5: No corking the bat by 
writing computer programs or scripts 
to come up with wacky word pairs. 
You may, however, haul out your 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 149 



Just For Fun 



dictionary and run your fingers down 
the page. David Harris — physicist, 
Googlewhack, Googlewhacker, and 
best supporting actor in "Dave 
Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure" — 
endorses the use of such props, espe- 
cially for the novice. "Given the way 
your brain makes connections, it's very 
hard to come up with two words that 
aren't related in some way," he says. 
"You'll have a lot more success with 
truly random word pairs." 

Rule 6: Respect the googlewhacks of 
others by not listing them on 
your Web site, which will almost im- 
mediately render them obsolete. 
Fortunately, there is a way around this 
publicity paradox: Because the Whack 
Stack at www.google whacking.com is 
not spidered by Google, you can post 
your success there safely. 

Rule 7: No cursing. Because the 
Whack Stack is frequently visited by 
preteens, and even appears in some 
middle-school curriculums, Gary 
keeps it clean. 

Rule 8: Keep score if you feel you 
really must. The easiest and most ac- 
cepted scoring system is this one: 
Type each of your winning words into 
Google separately and record the 
number of hits, then multiply them 
together. The highest number wins. 
Critics rightly contend that this 
scoring system fails to take into ac- 
count a number of important subjec- 
tive factors such as elegance, syntactic 
and semantic sensibility, poetic merit, 
etc. Nevertheless, it will give you some 
rough estimate as to the intrinsic 
value of your whack. 



Favorites Toe: 



I [j fl I ® Search *J Favorites ^Media & *> ,J j-g^ 



■'■' ■• " ■ ■ 



Goqgl 



Web 



e e 



iasmic quatrefoils 



Web 



Results 1-1 of 1 for quatrefoils i 



.. . .. ..; . . . ....... .. ;| ; ,. . . ... .;.,; ............ . ........ .. , . •• , . ... ,, 

•...:■'.."' 

sng sh/words/words. htm - 513k - 

iL 



| |0 Internet 



"Miasmic quatrefoils" — a bona fide Googlewhack. 
(Proudly contributed by the author.) 



Advanced Play 

If you're ready to graduate to ad- 
vanced whacking school, tickle your 
vocabulary bone with some real brain- 
teasers. (Remem-ber, we're not re- 
sponsible for any lost wages.) Try for 
instance, the Batman Whack (sounds 
like something Robin would have said 
on the original Batman television 
show) or the Whack Whack (a 
Googlewhack in which one half of the 
word pair is "Googlewhack" — techni- 
cally against the rules, as "Google- 
whack" is not a dictionary word — but 
fun nevertheless). The Alliterative 
Whack is also tough; because two 
words beginning with the same letter 
are likely to be found together in a 
one-letter-per-page wordlist, your al- 
literative ambitions will be frequently 
stymied. Or try the Themed Whack: 
word pairs in keeping with a particular 
theme of your choice. Gary Stock has 
an exceptional collection of Enron- 
themed whacks. For example, consider 
the now-defunct "Squirreling 
Dervishes" and ask yourself the ques- 
tion, "How did an SEC spokesman 
privately describe Enron executives 
who had busily packed away their ill- 
gotten gains?" 

The Rhyming Whack is a rare gem 
but well worth the effort. Bask in 
"whangdoodle strudel" and "inter- 
galactic osteoblastic." If you have a 
whole week-end to kill, try the Chain 
Whack: a chain of googlewhacks, a la 
A+B, B+C, C+D, etc. (Gary claims 
to have seen a 13 -link chain.) Perhaps 
you'd like the Nonsense Whack: a 
Googlewhack composed 
of gibberish — again, 
technically disallowed, 
but fun. Whacker James 
MacDougall, who sug- 
gests this challenge, re- 
calls being befuddled 
when many of his non- 
sense words (including 
hanatsim, gloost, gharg, 
blimter, and spanunk) 
turned out to be very 
sensible words in other 



_»J (jt>Go I Links 



nic (0.11 seconds 



J 



S 



languages. Finally, for the inspired 
masochist, we offer: the Palindromic 
Whack, which reads the same back- 
wards as forwards. Yikes. 

The Future 

There's never been a better time 
than now to take up the sport. In 
fact, it's possible that the 'Net is run- 
ning out of Googlewhacks, as Google 
indexes billions more pages every 
year. David Harris reasons that there 
are still plenty left, but he confesses 
that he's somewhat stymied as to 
how to prove it analytically. (The 
best way, he says, would be to write 
some software to measure the success 
rates of sets of randomly generated 
word pairs over time.) "Most of the 
new Web sites going up are blogs, 
and many blogs tend to copy lots of 
text from other sites; this would have 
the effect of eliminating Google- 
whacks. On the other hand, many 
blogs are quite eclectic and might 
add more Googlewhacks." He 
pauses. "Clearly I need to think 
about this some more." 

No Matter 

The mathematics mean little to afi- 
cionados such as Johnny Uhlenbrock. 
He's haunted, he whispers, by the fear 
that somewhere in the cyber- ether the 
world's greatest whack is waiting — 
the mother of all whacks, a whack so 
pure and powerful that the mere 
whisper of its name will bring down 
Google itself — and that some-one else 
might find it first. Those elusive 
magic words are what Gary Stock calls 
"The One True Whack," and many of 
the true believers search for it long 
into the night, even if they won't 
admit what they're doing. Until 
Johnny finds his whack, his neighbors 
will just have to put up with his 
shrieks and moans. "Sweet phytoe- 
strogen candelabras!" H 

by Ryan Turner 



150 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



Beware The 
Jabberwock, 

My Son 

Google Talk Is The New "Mad Libs" 




Smart Computing makes fre- 
quent use of the Internet and 
World Wide Web Conference 
Committee IW3 C. 

Say again? 

Smart Computing helps users of all 
ages by R/ E. 

OK, then. You've already seen 
Google's useful side and have an ink- 
ling of its vast, vast potential. But now 
it's time to play. 

Google Talk (douweosinga.com 
/projects/googletalk/googletalkframe) 
is a silly random sentence generator in- 
vented by Nederlander Douwe Osinga 
(not to be confused with Google's new 
instant messaging program, also called 



Google Talk). It taps Google's awe- 
some power not for good, not for evil, 
but just for fun. 

Automated Gobbledygook 

Google Talk, the non-Google-af- 
filiated Web site, is basically a new 
twist on old games such as Mad Libs 
and Telephone. But Google Talk is 
in a new class of word game, pow- 
ered by the Internet itself. 

To Google Talk at the Web page 
listed above, you type a short phrase 
of three or four words into the Enter 
Your Words field, such as: 

Rounding third base in 



After Google searches for the 
phrase, the Google Talk code will 
choose the most common word that 
follows that phrase on the Web pages 
in the list of results. Next, Google 
Talk adds that word to the end of the 
phrase. In this case, the word is "the": 

Rounding third base in the 

Next, the code will submit a new 
phrase to Google, dropping off the 
first word you typed but including the 
most recent word: 

third base in the 

From the results of this new search, 
Google Talk grabs yet another word. It 
adds it to the end of the growing sen- 
tence, and then submits a new phrase 
to Google minus the first two words: 

base in the Middle 

On our test PC, the process con- 
tinued to build a nonsense sentence 
until it reached a time or word limit — 
we couldn't really tell which — where- 
upon Google Talk cleared the sentence 
from the field. Experimentation 
taught us that clicking Back and then 
Forward in our browser sometimes 
helped us find our sentences again, 
but not always. 

Rounding third base in the Middle 
East and North Africa. Region has 
been a while since I ve been to the 
Mountaintop Martin Luther King Jr. 
was born on July in the Big bang . . . 

You can also click Stop to end the 
current sentence construction. How- 
ever, Stop makes your sentence dis- 
appear. Again, the Back and Forward 
buttons might help. 

On occasion, Google Talk stopped 
a sentence on its own without erasing 
it. Perhaps it couldn't find any pages 
that had all of the final three words as 
a phrase. Here's an example, based on 
"Just wanna hear": 

Just wanna hear you say! that you 
Love Me I ma liberal. I m Male, 

Google Talk's code seems to be 
sophisticated enough to choose the 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 151 



Just For Fun 



Looking for popcorn machine on 

the Internet www. and e- mail Directories 

for each of the states present the 

Seventeenth Day of the Dead, 

in the water industry is a major turn- on? 



right type of word, such as an article 
or noun, most of the time. This is an 
illusion, Osinga says, but Google 
Talk is nevertheless better at con- 
structing sentences that make a little 
sense than a truly random word gen- 
erator would be. 

Sometimes Google Talk gets stuck 
repeating the same phrase or word in 
an endless loop, such as: 

Smart Computing offers help did 
did did did did . . . 

At other times, it may veer off into 
another language: 

But i won't call you over to the 
judge, and the Assassin The Jing ke ci 
qin wang . . . 



At this writing, it's difficult to 
Copy a Google Talk sentence to 
Paste elsewhere. The script con- 
tinues to add new words to the sen- 
tence until it resets, so it tends to 
deselect the text you've highlighted 
with your mouse pointer every time 
a new word appears. If you're quick, 
however, you can press CTRL-A to 
select all the text in the Google Talk 
box and CTRL-C to copy it. Paste 
the text into a word processor or 
text editor with CTRL-V, and then 
trim off everything but your Google 
Talk sentence. 

A funny thing about Google Talk is 
that its results change over time. 
Because Google, the search engine, is 



In The Beginning Was The Random Word 



continuously revising its page rank- 
ings and revisiting sites around the 
globe, you can often get different sen- 
tences by typing in the same phrase. 

Blue-gleTalk 

Osinga provides HTML code at 
douweosinga.com/projects/googletalk 
that lets Web developers add Google 
Talk fields to their own sites. Watch 
out, though, as there may be offensive 
language further down the page in the 
visitor submissions section. 

On a similar note, because Google's 
search database spans a good chunk of 
the Internet, Google Talk can some- 
times return inappropriate words or 
phrases. Occasionally, an innocuous 
phrase you type in to start a Google 
Talk might unearth some nasty lan- 
guage before the sentence is done. If 
you're easily offended, Google Talking 
may not be for you. 

So, until next time, remember: 

Smart Computing helps users of 
the Internet s Future, is In Your hand 
for a hand held computer and a 
modem to a telephone line? H 

by Marty Sems 



Thirty-seven-year-old 
Douwe Osinga is a 
friendly, affable sort of chap. 
He works in Google's 
European Engineering office 
in Zurich, Switzerland, and 
has a fascination with artifi- 
cial intelligence simulations. 

He's also the inventor of 
one of the simplest, most 
surprising time-wasters ever 
to cut into an office's pro- 
ductivity: Google Talk. 

"I had decided to work four 
days a week and spend the 
last day on random projects- 
see the other stuff on my Web 
site (douweosinga.com)," he 
says. "This was one of them." 



"I had been playing with 
things like this for a long 
time, but mostly on a per- 
letter basis," Osinga says. 
"Having a large enough 
corpus to autogenerate ac- 
tual sentences seemed al- 
ways impossible, but then it 
hit me that you can just use 
Google to do the trick." 

Osinga programmed 
Google Talk in Python using 
the Google API. The script's 
uncanny ability to construct 
a sentence makes users think 
Osinga spent weeks teaching 
Google Talk to choose 
proper parts of speech, such 
as nouns or verbs. 



"It doesn't," Osinga con- 
fesses. "It just looks at the last 
four words of the sentence 
being generated and uses 
Google to guess what the 
most common next word is. 
I.e., it just does a Google 
search on those last words in 
double quotes and skims 
through the snippets looking 
for the four words and notes 
what follows those." 

There's no real point to 
Google Talk, unless it's the 
joy of whiling away an after- 
noon emailing friends with 
the gibberish of the Web. But 
Osinga is sanguine. "I hope to 
think that some of the more 




weird results of Google Talk 
can be inspiring and fire up 
creativity," he says. I 



152 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



Search Engine 
Silliness 

Googlefight & Guess-The-Google 
Kill Hours Dead 




Google is much more than a 
search engine. It's a social phe- 
nomenon, and as such, Google 
has millions of devotees, some of 
whom pour their affection for this site 
into sites of their own. 

Some of these knockoff Web sites 
even use Google to power their capa- 
bilities. Googlefight (www. google 
fight.com) and Guess-The-Google 
(grant.robinson.name/projects/guess- 
the-google) are two fun Google off- 
shoots as habit- forming as the search 
engine that spawned them. 

Ring The Bell 

Our world has been a stage for epic 
battles in every era and in every facet 



of human life. David vs. Goliath. The 
Axis against the Allies. The Jets' 
Broadway Joe vs. the Colts' Johnny 
Unitas in Super Bowl III. A mob of 
angry, rabid squirrels facing off 
against Tiger Woods. Mike Tyson vs. 
a fern — and the fern wins! 

OK, some of these battles haven't 
actually happened. Not yet, anyway. 
But online, these kinds of matchups 
rage continuously thanks to the 
Googlefight, where cyber-fighting is a 
way of life. 

Googlefight is a simple brawl of 
words. Load this Web site and you'll 
see two text boxes, one that reads 
Keyword #1 and the other, Keyword 
#2. Enter any keywords you'd like into 
these text boxes, click Make A Fight, 



and you'll see two stick figures punch- 
ing and kicking each other in a flurry of 
pale stick limbs. 

When the dust settles a moment 
later, you'll see a bar graph with two 
rising bars, one for each keyword 
string you typed, along with a number 
that indicates how many instances of 
your string Google found on the Web. 
The more common keyword combo, 
obviously, wins. The Beatles returned 
3.8 million results; The Rolling Stones 
came back with only 1.6 million. 

Googlefight has minimal system 
requirements. All you need is an In- 
ternet connection and a free copy of 
Macromedia Flash (www. macro 
media.com), which lets you see the 
animated fighting in all its stick- 
figure glory. You also need your 
imagination. Cheeseburgers vs. ham- 
burgers. Teddy bears vs. Godzilla. 

If you need help conjuring a few 
ideas to make Googlefight more fun, 
look no farther than the left side of the 
screen. Here, you'll find links to The 
Classics, Funny Fights, Fight Of The 
Month, and The Last 20 Fights. The 
Classics includes fights such as Luke 
Skywalker vs. Darth Vader and Bill 
Gates vs. Linus Torvalds. In Funny 
Fights, you'll see Me vs. Myself and 
headache vs. aspirin. You get the idea. 

Googlefight fun. Googlefight is 
endless fun because every fight idea 
leads to new ones. In other words, 
don't start a Googlefight session at 
work unless you're prepared to lose 
hours of productivity. 

But because you likely are at work, 
why not start with some obvious 
fights? Pit your name against your 
boss', co-worker vs. co-worker. Start 
an office civil war. 

Googlefight does have useful pur- 
poses, too. For example, if you want to 
use a figure of speech but you're not 
exactly sure about it, you can use 
Googlefight to double check the ex- 
pression. So, if you're not sure if it's 
"feed a fever and starve a cold," or 
"feed a cold and starve a fever," you 
can use Googlefight to find out which 
one appears most often on the Web. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 153 



Just For Fun 



Keep in mind that there are a couple 
of ways to conduct a Googlefight, and 
only one of them makes the fight fair. 
You should put quotation marks 
around your keywords so that Google 
returns only exact matches instead of 
those that have various incarnations of 
your keyword combi- 
nations. So "Hunter S. 
Thompson" will kick 
back only those results 
that have this exact 
combination of words, 
instead of those with 
the individual words 
hunter or Thompson 
that have nothing to 
do with the journalist. 

Guess-The-Google 

Googlefight is all 
about word fights, but 
another programmer 
found Google's image 
search capabilities more 
intriguing. That's where Guess-The- 
Google comes in. This game site is the 
brainchild of Grant Robinson, a Web 
developer from New Zealand. 

Unlike Googlefight, Guess-The- 
Google doesn't let you call the shots 
with your own keywords. Instead, it 
shows you results, and your job is to 
guess the keyword that conjured those 
results. The results you see aren't 
words. Instead, Guess-The-Google 
shows you a grid of 20 images. You 
might see, for instance, many images 
of colorful winged insects. You might 
guess that the keyword "butterfly" 
generated these results. 

If you're right, you score points. 
You get bonus points for guessing 
the correct answer quickly, too. But 
beware, because you have only 20 
seconds to find the right word. The 
good news is that you can guess as 
many times as you want during that 
time period. 

Like Googlefight, Guess-The- 
Google requires Macromedia Flash 
to run its glossy graphical elements. 
When you're ready, load the game 



and you'll see three sections, in- 
cluding buttons that let you start the 
game and view instructions, as well 
as a list of the day's top scores. 

Fire it up. When the game starts 
you'll frantically begin typing your 
guesses. On the bottom-right portion 









r 






'•- . By ' ■ ;■; :-■■: ■•.;'■ 

of stores. 




<^Sk 


rM$\ 




3 c> 








I The classics 
Funny fights 


Fight of the month 


- 




1 Fight M 
[Fiqhtm 
1 Fight H 
piqhtM 


Fight of the month 


The last 20 fights 


Be.it tlie Adwords System 

Access 1 00 Million People in 1 Min The Definitive 

irt Guide 
AdiwordsStrategy.com 














bo ** 


2*r 




%$$i SL 




Grille AnlsSeciets 

. : k-Free 












1 Keyword #1 




1 Keyword #2 




r 


Make a fight 





















Enter two keywords and start a Googlefight. You'll see stick figures battling it out 
on your computer screen for keyword supremacy. 



of the screen, you'll see a list of the 
words you've used so you don't acci- 
dentally type them again. 

An information bar graces the 
bottom of the game. Here, you can 
see your overall score, and you can see 
how far you've progressed through 
your round of 10 grids. If you can't 
figure out what the keyword is for a 
grid — and odds are you'll hit a 
toughie — Guess-The-Google won't 
give you the answer. Rather it teases 
you by offering just the first letter of 
the keyword. Once you finish the last 
grid, the game ends. 

After you play each round, the site 
updates your score and lets you click 
Pause if you need a breather (or if you 
need to make it seem as if you're actu- 
ally working for a few minutes). At the 
end of your round, the game shows 
the total time you needed to complete 
each grid, the average time to com- 
plete each grid, total guesses made, the 
average number of guesses you typed, 
and of course, your final score. 

You can also type your name and 
submit your score to the site. If you 



did exceptionally well, your name 
will appear on the list of high scores 
for the day. 

Robinson said he was inspired to 

create the game partly because he loves 

Google's Image Search, which he uses 

a lot in his job as a Web designer. Two 

of Robinson's friends sug- 

gested the idea for the 

game, and he said he's 

glad he followed through 

on the concept. 

A lot of people play 
Guess-The-Google every 
day. "It varies, but it can 
be up to 10,000 people a 
day. It's leveled off a bit, 
which is just as well," said 
Robinson. "I no longer 
get angry emails from my 
hosting company." 

You can count Robin- 
son as one of the game's 
devotees. "I can get the 
top score easily, as I know 
all the answers," he said. 
"But the fun thing is that it is always 
changing as Google updates, so if I 
don't play for a week or two it gets 
harder for me again." 

Robinson might not have much 
time to play, though, because he's 
planning a two-player version of the 
game that he hopes to release by the 
end of 2005. He wants to call the 
game Guess-The-Google Challenge, 
and players will create their own list 
of keywords to send to a friend. 

Endless Silliness 

It's a credit to Google's popularity 
that so many people create and use fun 
sites such as Googlefight and Guess- 
The-Google. If Google continues to 
dominate the search engine scene, 
you'll see more and more fun Google- 
powered sites appear, all the better for 
whiling away those long hours. H 

by Nathan Chandler 



154 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



gos Make The Man 



i 



When You're Desperate To Demonstrate 
How Hip You Are 



If you're in the market for Google- 
branded merchandise, your search 
is over; visit the Google Store 
(www.googlestore.com) and select ei- 
ther the North/South America button 
or the Africa, Antarctica, Asia/Pacific, 
Australia, Europe button. There's no 
sales tax unless you live in Missouri, 
and, at press time, Google offered free 
shipping on anything going UPS 
Ground in the continental United 
States. You'll probably want to read 
the Warranty/Returns area on the site 
before you buy anything, and ac- 
cording to Megan Quinn of Google, 
"Everything on the store is subject to 
change without notice, including of- 
ferings, prices, availability, etc." So, 
caveat emptor. H 

by Kathryn Dolan 




Fun Stuff 




Goo- ltem#G00096- $14.50 

This blue Google goo is similar to the once-popular green Gak (remember that 
stuff?), and it comes in a handy little tin for easy storage. You're supposed to ball it up 
and squeeze it for a bit of stress relief, but lobbing it into the back of an annoying co- 
worker's head won't hurt a thing: It's nontoxic and doesn't stain. 



Light-Up Pen • ltem#G00063 • $5.95 

Clicking this button-cell-battery-operated pen lights up your life — or at least the 
pen's barrel, so you can see what you're writing on a dark and stormy night. Shed light 
on your prose or poetry with one of seven colored lights: red, blue, green, orange, 
purple, aqua, and pink. Click your pen an eighth time to cycle through all of the colors. 




Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 155 



Just For Fun 



Get Fit 





Bib Bike Shorts • Item #G001 • $76.25 

Hincapie (yes, the cyclist George Hincapie and family) 
Performa Bib Shorts provide comfort and wick moisture from 
your body as you bike. Although they're adorned with the 
Google doodle of the Tour de France, the bib shorts still remind 
us of wrestling singlets, which is a bad look for most people. 




K 

HIHCAM 



Arm Warmer • Item 7 • $34.95 

Whether you're trying to keep your arms warm as you 
cycle, buff up, or type really, really fast, these Hincapie 
gel- gripping arm warmers should do the trick. And they 
probably even glow in the dark. 



00 



HIHCflPjf 



.00 



CJ 



Nalgene Water Bottle • Item * $16.50 

This is what we call a two-fer: For the price of one water bottle, you get 
the Nalgene cool factor, which says you're clearly part of the crowd, as well 
as a sturdy bottle that doesn't harbor odors or flavors from whatever you 
toted around in it the previous day. 



Sit Anywhere 




Travel Chair • ltem#G00069 • $32.25 

This compact, collapsible canvas chair comes with its own travel bag, so you can es- 
cape your four walls and pretend to work at your campsite. Ambidextrously placed cup 
holders accommodate the beverage (or beverages for you two-fisted folk) of your choice. 



Bean Bag* ltem#G00143 • $150 

This Google-blue (red, green, or yellow) bean bag chair is a bit pricy, but as it's 
water resistant, you can take it out next to the pool and relax with your laptop. In 
fact, that's probably where you'll want it anyway: It's likely the blindingly bright 
colors will clash with everything else in your house. 




156 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



Office Supplies 




Wireless Hotspot Finder • ltem#G00116 • $35.75 

If your nondescript white van is arousing suspicion as you war drive the neighborhood 
attempting to pirate wireless access points, you can probably find some legitimate uses 
for this device. You can definitely use this hotspot finder in a city such as Philadelphia, 
which hopes to have its 135-square-mile network up 
and running in 2006. And many cities currently have 
public parks, Internet cafes, and coffee houses that en- 
courage you to hop online. 



■ 



Icon Vase Speaker • ltem#G00130 • $30.75 

We initially thought this was a pepper mill. Doesn't it look like a pepper mill? 
There's just nothing like the flavor of fresh ground pepper; it tastes markedly better 
than its canned, pulverized counterpart, doesn't it? Anyway, it's not a pepper mill. It's 
a USB-powered computer speaker, so it would be utterly useless on your kitchen table. 





Gifts & Accessories 




GrommetTote • ltem#G00147 • $16.75 

This tote, available in black, baby blue, and pink, seems pretty service- 
able. It's made of a poly material, so it's probably sturdy enough to carry 
"Crime And Punishment", "The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich", and 
"Ulysses", all at the same time. (We have to admit, one reason we like 
this bag so much is because it has the word "grommet" in the title.) 



Infoglobe • ltem#G00120 • $64.95 

Now you and your friends can have your own snow-globe-looking message center for 
your phones. It features a clock, a 100-year calendar, and an LED with a ticker tape to 
which you can add customized messages. If you have voicemail and caller ID, you can 
use both with this center, too. You'll have to resist the urge to pick it up and shake it; 
there's no snow-like confetti in the blue-glass dome. 




Go S Ve 



Beach Towel • Item #G00044 • $27.95 

This is the brightest, shiniest white beach towel we've ever seen! It's also 
huge (36 x 70 inches) and expensive, and it'll probably keep you toasty 
after a chilly dip in the ocean, but if west-coast beaches are anything like 
their eastern counterparts, the ashes from bonfires and residue from fire- 
works will turn it dingy and dull in no time. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 157 



Just For Fun 



What's Next? 

Google Takes On The Future 



by Joshua Gulick 



Millions of Internet users love 
Google for its powerful Web- 
search capabilities, but the 
more savvy among them also know 
that Google offers many other tools, 
such as Google Alerts (an email alert 
service), Maps, and Picasa (a photo- 
editing tool). Not surprisingly, Google 
incorporates search features into many 
of these tools. Picasa, for example, has 
features that help users find pictures 
on their computers. 

Although many Google features let 
users search the digital realm, some 
Google tools help users find real- 
world objects and locations. Froogle, 
for example, searches for products, 
whereas Google Maps finds specific 
geographic locations and provides 
both driving directions to them and 
satellite images of them. 

This got us wondering: What other 
real-world tasks will Google tackle 
next? We kicked back, took off our 
shoes, and cooked up some possibili- 
ties for future generations. 




Instant Genealogy 




Google recently (and 
famously) stopped 
all communication 
with a tech news 
service after an 
intrepid journalist 
posted some per- 
sonal information 
about Google's CEO — in- 
formation she found by 
Googling him (searching 



for his name on Google). 
This incident showed that 
Google's reach extends 
deep into many people's 
personal information. That 
said, it's not a bad thing, 
especially if you search 
for family members via 
the Web. We'd love to 
see Google offer a special 
search engine that draws 



on the company's many 
resources to create detailed 
family trees for amateur 
genealogists. We imagine 
entering the family name, 
clicking the Search button, 
and then seconds later 
seeing a family tree, com- 
plete with photos. 



158 www.smartcomputing.com / Guide To Using Google 



Just For Fun 



Home Google 




As you video chat with 
your friend online, do you 
find yourself checking out 



her house in the 
background? If you 
frequently scrunch 
your eyes to make 
out the blurry ob- 
ject sitting on the 
shelf behind her, 
you'll love Home 
Google. Users who have 
Web cams sign up for free 
accounts and then leave 



their Web cams powered 
on so other Google Home 
users can scope out their 
home offices, dens, or 
living rooms. Although 
this tool doesn't really 
benefit most users (other 
than satisfying their cu- 
riosity), we bet adver- 
tisers would love a Google 
search engine that could 



scope out your book- 
shelves, electronics stash, 
and choice in posters. 
Thanks to this search en- 
gine, advertisers could 
target ads at you based on 
items you already have. 
Now that we think about 
it, we hope Home Google 
doesn't get off the ground. 



Google Dating History 




Online dating Web sites 
not only match singles: they 
also create digital dating 
histories. Although you can 
check up on your potential 



soul mate by Googling him, 
you probably won't find 
out who he has dated. A 
Google Dating History fea- 
ture could crawl through 



those online dating sites, 
collecting tons of dating 
info: who he's seen, who he 
hit it off with, and who 
he didn't. 



Google Groceries 




Sure, you've seen online 
grocers such as Webvan 
and Peapod before, but 
grocery shopping Google- 
style is a completely dif- 
ferent ball game. Rather 
than deliver your gro- 
ceries, Google compiles its 



many features to make 
your shopping experience 
an exercise in search en- 
gine efficiency: 

Search. Your shopping 
experience begins at (you 
guessed it) Google's new 
grocery shopping feature, 
Frooglelicious. If this is 
your first time using the 
feature, the big G will 
search your computer for 
documents that contain 
shopping lists (ala Google 
Desktop Search). If none 
are present, you'll choose 
products in the site's 
massive online grocery 
store, read user opinions 



of your choices (culled 
from Google Groups), and 
then kick back while Goo- 
gle Local tracks down 
nearby stores. 

Shop. Google assembles 
your shopping list, com- 
plete with pictures and 
a list of local stores that 
carry the items you want to 
buy, and then delivers it to 
your cell phone via Google 
Mobile. Just in case you 
haven't heard of some of 
these grocery stores (Froo- 
glelicious prides it-self on 
its comprehensive listings, 
which even include health 
food co-ops and tech-sawy 



farmers' markets), Google 
delivers driving directions 
and sat-ellite images of 
your destinations to your 
cell phone. 

Once you arrive, you'll 
use your phone to access 
another new Google phe- 
nomenon, Googaisle, to 
locate products on store 
shelves. And don't despair 
if you find product labels 
in other languages: once 
you snap a pic of the label 
with your phone's camera, 
Google Translate saves the 
day and your meal. 



Reference Series / Guide To Using Google 159 




NEW TECHNOLOGY 
SPOTLIGHT 




Turbo-Cool®510 Express/SLI 



Super 
Heavyweight Champ! 
Turbo-Cool®850 

Introducing the Turbo-Cool 850 SSI, 
the biggest, baddest power supply 
available for next-gen computers! 
It produces 950W of peak power, 
handles brownouts down to 80VAC, 
and delivers voltages 10 times more 
stable than ordinary units. Perfect for 
dual-CPU, dual-video systems and up. 

• 850W Continuous (950W Pk) @ 50°C 

• Fits Std. ATX Cases (20" min. depth) 

• Four +12V Rails @ 17Aeach 

• High-Efficiency (85%) with .99 PFC 

• Ultra-Tight Regulation (+V0C@1%) 

• Amazingly Quiet Cooling System 

• Dual PCI Express Video Connectors 

• 15 Drive Connectors (incl. 6 SATA) 

• Unbeatable 5-Year Warranty 



"Our Top Pick for a High-Wattage PSU 

iS the TUrbO-COOl® 51 0" -Maximum PC, April 2005 

Forget modular plugs, neon lights, and other superficial 
gimmicks. When it comes to power supplies, it's 
performance and reliability that count, and nothing 
beats the heavy-duty Turbo-Cool® 510. The first PSU 
certified for use in nVidia SLI systems— and guaranteed 
to easily power any system— the Turbo-Cool® 510 
continues PC Power 8 Cooling's 20-year legacy of 
producing heavyweight champs. 



Visit Our New Site! 




Power Packed! 



Here's Why the Turbo-Cool 510® is the Expert's Choice: 

• 510W (650W Pk) @ 50°C (Industrial Rated) 

• 2X More Actual Power than "500W" Home PSUs 

• The Beefiest Caps, Inductors, Heat Sinks, etc. 

• The Best Sag and Surge Protection (.99 PFC) 

• The Highest +12VDC Output (34A, 38A Peak) 

• The Tightest Voltage Regulation (+VDC @ 1%) 

• The Cleanest Power (+VDC Ripple @ 0.5%) 

• The Industry's Strongest Warranty (5 Years) 





n MAXIMUMS 

Dream 
Machine 



E THEME 

APPROVED 



Turn to the Only Source You'll Ever Need for 
Power Supply Products and Information! 

• Complete Product List and Tech Specs 

• Support, Reviews, FAQs, and Tech Forum 

• Interactive Power Supply Selector: 

See Which Unit is Right for Your System! 

• Check Out This Month's Hot Topic: 
Computer Power Supply Myths Exposed! 

• Secure, Easy-to-use Online Ordering 



High-Performance Computer Power Supplies Since 1985 
www.pcpowercooling.com • 5995 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008 • (760) 931-5700 • (800) 722-6555 

Reviews, specifications, and pricing available on website, NVIDIA and SLI are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation. Turbo-Cool and PC Power and Cooling are registered trademarks of PC Power Sr Cooling, Inc. ©2005 




Computing, is the 

■ In Plain Enalish *^ 




Your Subscription 
Includes: 

• FREE Tech Support 

• Unlimited Access 

To SmartComputing.com 

• 4 Magazines For The Price Of 1 

• Plain-English Writing Style 

• Live, Local Customer Service 

Subscribe Today! 

(800) 733-3809 




[? 




Mention Source Code 13324 when ordering. 



HAVE A COMPUTER PROBLEM? 

Call (800)368-8304 for 
FREE tech support from Smart Computing! 

Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday 

Or email your question to 
webhelp@smartcomputing.com 




r* r* 






TJ-JE CAHJNGj CA3H CrjUHCTJUiT 

DESJGJJrD FOfi VVDJVJrJJ, 3/ WOjVJEjJ 
f Ofi TJ-IH B£jJ£rJT Or 770iVJ£jJ 



r 



\ 




■ 



- 













t 



> 




> / 






Proceeds to Benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 



As the leader in women's computer luggage, Mobile Edge has created the 

Caring Case Collection™ as our way of "giving back" to those in need. 

These 'Limited Edition' cases are specifically designed to carry a notebook computer 

along with your everyday accessories and feature the distinctive pink ribbon 

medallion. We will donate 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these cases to the 

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information on this collection 

please visit www.mobileedge.com or call 714.399.1400. 



| The Komen Suede Tote] 



www.mobileedge.com 



Laptop Backpacks / Briefcases / Messenger Bags / Totes 

MOBILE 3DGE 

BrinaltOn.